Here We Go, August, Here We Go!


So…August. We need to have a discussion. I was not ready for you. You were not invited yet. This was not the plan! The plan was beach and road trip and picnics and festivals and fairs and many more lazy days.  We’ve covered about 14% of the items on my list. Cut a girl a break already!

Since there appears no stopping you, the next best alternative is to welcome you like a rabid cheerleading high school sports fan. In the case of my youth, basketball was our school’s sport of choice, and corny crowd cheers abounded. But in the interest of feeling young and energetic again, I’m hearkening back to those simpler teenage days and cheering myself on…


I mean that more as a kick in the everloving pants rather than a glib rah.

I know August is approaching half over, but I finally wrote down my goals for this month and thought I’d share them here. I’ve been using Lara Casey’s Power Sheets off and on this year to help me make focused, incremental progress on some of my dreams, and I’ve really enjoyed them!

monthly goals

  • set up a section in my bullet journal for encouraging quotes/verses/mantras
  • plan well for homeschooling
  • start behind-the-scenes work to consolidate blogs (more on that later)
  • establish and post AM and PM routines
  • take Isla for her (i.e. our) inaugural American Girl Doll store experience <squee!!!!>
  • come good on Gabe’s end-of-school present
  • move money into the appropriate accounts to pay the credit card bill
  • go on a date
  • try out insta videos
  • take the kids to the beach and splash pad

weekly goals

  • write
  • set up my bullet journal each week and actually use it
  • keep running (and stretching!)
  • get more sleep…how? not sure, but try

daily goals

  • speak truth over the kids and connect with them on a positive level
  • do yoga
  • meditate

What are you working on this month? Are you back to school already or are you still enjoying the lazy days of summer?

I Want A Do-Over!

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Phew! What a week! This mama is ready for a reset!

We started the week in Nashville, where I said goodbye to my sister who moved nine hours away. Very sad panda. 🙁 The return trip went a little more easily than the trip south, thankfully. Have you ever tried to caravan 4 cars and a moving van through Chicago? Hint: even harder than it sounds! lol


I took a run the day after we came home and totally wiped out. Like, fell, flat on my front side. Just on the sidewalk, too! No tricky trail running here! This, perhaps, shouldn’t surprise me since I regularly clip my shoulders going through door frames. Really, it should surprise me I haven’t fallen while running before now! I caught my toe on a slightly elevated sidewalk square, and over I went! My hands, arms, and knee sport an attractive case of road rash, but thankfully it didn’t get any worse, notwithstanding the rip in my favorite–and now discontinued–pair of leggings.  Boo!


In Nashville, a tooth started hurting, so I visited an endodontist. He took these fancy 3-d xrays and could see that yes, in fact, I had a tooth abscess. A tooth infection in a tooth that had already had a root canal, at that. I saddled up for a unexpected repeat round of tooth excavation and left feeling pretty numb and pretty good!

Ah, anesthesia, what a lovely thing you are!

By the middle of the night last night, however, neither “numbness” nor “goodness” described my state. Even though I’d taken pain pills around 11:00, by 2 AM the pain wracked me almost as badly as it wracked me when I was in labor with Jude. I’m not joking. At one point I actually found myself wistful for his labor because at least I got 1-3 minute breaks throughout the whole thing. This was just constant pain and throbbing. The whole side of my face was on fire! I could feel it moving up into my cheekbones and down by my ear, and I just wanted to crawl into a comfy hole and pummel my tooth out with a hammer. The stuff of lullabies, no?

Around 6 AM I took another round of antibiotics and pain pills and added some steroids to the mix. Ah, sweet rest!

Fun fact I learned–did you know if a person has nausea, a new study revealed that sniffing a swab of rubbing alcohol can often relieve it? Lucky me, I tested it out (mostly successfully) several times in the wee hours of the morning. I’ve taken all of these medications before, but for some reason, the Augmentin really did a number on my stomach, and by mid-morning I was losing my breakfast in the sink.  Ugh.

The best news, although I hesitate to call it that yet since it remains to be seen, is that after a hazy mid-morning nap, I woke up to less swelling and much less pain, a trend which has continued all day. The nights definitely seem to be the worst, so let’s reserve judgment until Friday morning, shall we? But here’s to hoping things are finally on the upswing!

Any takers for a do-over week? I could really use one!

A Completely Irrelevant Post About A Problem We’ve Had For A Decade


That moment when you solve a problem that’s been brewing for a decade…

I recently switched dishwasher detergents from liquid to pods, namely because my old one isn’t available for same-day delivery on Amazon Prime.

I know. The absurdity of that sentence isn’t lost on me.

But it’s totally true.

Dishwasher detergent is something I’m constantly forgetting to add to my grocery list until I’m trying to clean up the kitchen from breakfast and realize I have no detergent. I also have some mild reclusive tendencies as well as a deep aversion to hauling all my kids into any store at all, but especially stores that sell toys or cookies. So being able to get dishwasher pods delivered to my doorstep by dinner borders on priceless.

This, however, isn’t the problem. I’m getting to that.

So the dishwasher pods. They’ve been working out well for us, but this week, I discovered upon going to unload my machine that one of them didn’t dissolve, which was a tremendous annoyance since all my cups were in there and all my children were thirsty.  I popped the naughty pod out of the detergent dispenser and onto the floor of the dishwasher and ran the whole thing again on a quick cycle. Initially, I thought the problem was the pod itself, but when it finally finished its second cycle, I realized that we’d loaded something tall right in front of the detergent door, and this prevented it from opening, thereby preventing the pod from dissolving.

This, my friends, is the problem we’ve had for about a decade. The bottom rack of our dishwasher has the silverware caddy on the right and the space for the large/taller items on the left, directly in front of where the detergent dispenser is. The pots and pans just fit better there, which is obviously a problem if it prevents detergent from being used. We actually thought for a while that our detergent door was failing until we realized it was just our own user error, and now we try to be careful of what we put in that area, which is a huge pain because it’s the place those things fit best.

Also, I will once again digress and say that technically, I know nothing related to a dishwasher is a “huge” pain. Huge pains are more akin to having to inject yourself with life-saving insulin before every meal SO YOU DON’T DIE or totaling your brand-new car. On this scale, I have maybe one or two real huge pains in my life. But on the scale of Life cereal ground into the floor and mail that doesn’t show up on time and having to sit on hold to make a doctor’s appointment, my dishwasher situation is a huge pain.

So…today, while I was loading up the breakfast dishes, I dropped the pod into the dispenser and thought, I sure hope the dumb door opens this time so the pod dissolves! And that’s when the heavens parted and the angels sang and it hit me.

The bottom rack of the dishwasher is mirror identical and silverware caddy is moveable. I can move it to either the left side or the right side of the dishwasher.  The short, compact dishwasher caddy can be moved. I CAN MOVE IT TO THE LEFT SIDE OF THE RACK SO IT SITS IN FRONT OF THE DETERGENT DISPENSER, WHICH WILL ALLOW ME TO MOVE THE TALL STUFF TO THE RIGHT SIDE SO THEY WILL NO LONGER BLOCK THE DOOR FROM OPENING.

Like I said, heavens parting, angels singing. It was a quite excellent realization.

So, there you go. Problem solved. And it only took ten years.

#shakingmyhead #goodgrief

The West Wing and Other Bits

Whirling. That’s what I feel like – whirling with things to do and ideas (and laundry…), but I can’t figure out how to fit it all in. Anyone relate?  It’s not a bad feeling, per se. I like the energy and creativity that come with ideas, but I start feeling a little stuck after a while and start watching copious amounts of Netflix.

In fairness, I have to say that we haven’t had Netflix for years, and they have The West Wing. Before Jude was born, Tahd and I were working on a slow-but-sure WW marathon. We’d made it all the way to season 7 (the final season) when I developed preeclampsia and then went on to have him early. And then there was all his screaming and such…Fun memories…

Anyway, by the time we got back around to watching it (we were watching it on Amazon Prime at the time), THEY HAD REMOVED IT!!! I was beside myself! My friends…Josh! Donna! CJ! The President!!! It was a truly depressing time in my life. I’m sure the fact that my baby screamed nonstop and my husband was traveling excessively had little to do with it. I’m sure it was all West Wing Withdrawal, right?  Which, you know, is totally a thing.

Well, we recently cut the cable cord and then picked up Netflix, and I was almost giddy to find they had it. It’s what I’ve been doing in every spare minute, which is a sight exaggeration because I have accomplished a few other things in my life, but it felt like coming home and made me so happy.  Alas, we tore through the 22 episodes from the last season in short time, and I’m once again going through West Wing Withdrawal, except this time, THERE IS NO HOPE. Last time, at least I could look forward to the day when I could finally finish the series, or I could dream up plans to make the wise, wise investment in West Wing dvds so I could finally see how it ended. But this time?

NO HOPE! They are not coming back! It is over, and I try not to cry every day.

Not really. But I am sad about it, sad like I was when Friends and The Office ended.  Pam! Jim! Ross! Rachel!!! Ack!

Hm…I did not intend this to be a depressingly pitiful account of my unhealthy ability to relate to and personalize television characters…

In other news, I’ve been thinking. This writing-on-two-sites thing? I can’t do it! I can’t keep up, and when I feel behind on one thing I get paralyzed and avoid both things, thereby preventing me from writing at all! It’s a bad plan. I haven’t yet decided how to rectify this situation, but I’m considering options. Because the not-writing thing has been a real bummer.

In the meantime while I try to figure things out, here are a few pictures from our daily-life adventures…


Me and my love, sans kids, at a wedding.  I love this picture of us. We don’t have many!


I want to make this! It’s a display of wisteria at our local Anthropologie. The purple flowers are made out of balloons! It’s crazy brilliant and very striking!


He found a LeapFrog toy phone. I wondered where he was and found him like this, so I snuck a picture.


Mother’s Day morning (well – Mother’s Day redo morning…we celebrated a week late due to other commitments on the actual weekend) with my boys. They gave me a delicious breakfast feast of fruit, juice and champagne in bed. It was so sweet! Isla was around, too, but I don’t seem to have a picture with her in it.

That’s all for now!

Here and Now

I wrote on my other site about having dug through my blog archives over here a week ago in search of a picture and how nostalgic and happy it made me to fall down the rabbit hole of memories and photos. Especially some of the early stuff with Gabe. I’d forgotten so much of it! Like many mom bloggers, saving those memories is why I started blogging in the first place, and I’m so glad I did it…back then…but not so much lately, and that makes me sad!  I want to remember Isla and Jude’s stories just as much as I want to remember Gabe’s. And the fact that I’m older now…well, let’s just say that my memory’s already poorer, and I hardly remember what I ate for lunch, let alone the cute (or not-so-cute) things they did last week or last month or last year. <sigh>

But I’m here now, and that’s something. So I’ll just write about the here and now and save this much for posterity’s sake.


reading || this book! I really, really love it! I read Leanna Tankersley’s second book, Breathing Room, last year, and it was quite possibly my favorite read of the year. I was super excited for her newest book, Brazen: The Courage to Find the You That’s Been Hiding, to release because it sounded like the theme would really resonate with me. And it did! Some of my favorite quotes…

…our issues are not the same thing as our identity. (29)

Your soul, your Created Center, is where all of you and all of God dwells.

Life doesn’t demand our present. It asks…Our life is right here waiting for us to notice it. (59)

We hold our current reality in one hand and our longings in the other hand, and we ask God to show us how we can honor both. (61)

When shame is my lens, my eyes are unreliable. (67)

“Your calling isn’t an experiment. It’s not a ‘well, we’ll see how it goes.’ It’s an imprint I put on you, a way I have created you, the channel to your soul, the beauty I want to share with the world through you. Because of all that, it’s also very vulnerable.” (107)



listening || to Jordan Smith’s new album. I am quite likely an old lady when it comes to my taste in music, but I don’t even care. I love this album!


We’ve also come pretty close to deciding for sure (as much as I decide anything for sure) that we’re going to homeschool our little two. I’d like to get them started with some Montessori-ish and/or Waldorfish experiences, and I’m obsessing over this children’s album.


eating || I mean, it was just Easter season. Is there any question as to what I’m eating? I am trying to pace myself, though. The first bag I bought went awfully quickly…I’m consuming them at a much more reasonable pace lately!

trying || to figure out a way to streamline my online and offline writing and photograph-taking and other general enjoyable hobbies so I can actually do them rather than just think about doing them.

loving || my bullet journal. I started it at the beginning of this year an wondered if I’d really keep up with it. BUT I LOVE IT. It is just the right blend of structure and creativity for me. I’m still working out some kinks, but it is my favorite approach to life planning I’ve ever tried.

starting || to run again. It is so, so hard, and I always wish I were faster and had more endurance. Maybe someday, I will. But for now, it just feels good, even at under 5mph…for a mere 20 minutes…with me sweating like a hog.

wearing || a braid, almost every day. How did I not know about this before now? I thought braids were totally kiddish. Then I saw this and this and thought, “Self, your hair is pretty long. You could probably do this.” So I tried, and it is so, so lovely! I don’t even really have to straighten my curly hair – just tightly braid it while it’s wet and let it air dry. Once it’s dry, I can mess it up/puff it up/experiment, and I can easily get two or three days out of it between washings.


watching || we canceled our cable, and I’m sad. It’s honestly not so much the regular tv shows I’m missing, but CNN. I miss CNN so much! I love politics; election returns are like candy to me. I think I’ll miss the live holiday specials around Christmas time as well as the awards shows in award season. But the price was just going up and up and we were just watching more and more, so hopefully this will be a good reset for us. Our equipment was so old the company told us we shouldn’t return it, and it strangely still gets a few stations (QVC for one…) as well as kept all our previously dvr’d shows, so that makes me happy.  And The Great British Bake Off is on Amazon. You should definitely check that one out!

Good grief. Such a first-world problem!

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laughing || at Jude’s sense of humor. He is a truly hilarious child, like a grumpy old man and a cheerful, mischievous elf all mixed together.  It’s as much the voice and intonation as anything, but he’s especially funny because he knows he’s entertaining us and gets quite coy and clever about his lines. For instance, when we got home from school pickup one day and I was getting the little kids out of the car, I told them both I’d need a ticket before I unbuckled them. Then, I promptly puckered up and told them the “ticket” was a kiss. He looked at me with an impish side-eye and said, “Nope! I rip it up!” It’s tomfoolery (or screaming) all the time with that one!

What have you been up to lately?

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