Sunday, March 18, 2018

It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

Flashback to late November, and my Madison was returning to Denmark after being home for Thanksgiving. Our firstborn would be spending her first Christmas away from home, and despite our brave faces, she and I were both extremely sad and apprehensive. Enter Steve, the most amazing husband and father, who strives to ensure his family is as happy as is humanly possible. Before Madison and Nicolas left for the airport, Steve surprised us by telling us we were all going on a cruise in March! (FYI...a cruise in March is almost half the price of one in June.) And so, we were happy that even though our Christmas wouldn't be the same, we all had something to look forward to come March.

Great idea, right?

Fast forward a few months and as you may already know, we are moving.
In March. A week after the cruise.

Not that I am complaining AT ALL!
I am thrilled about the idea of spending the week with my people resting and eating.
And resting.
Could the timing be better?
But, we worked overtime to be ready before the cruise, and honestly, as a good friend told me, it will feel good to leave the chaos behind for a bit.
It will be here when we return.

I'm down for a week of afternoon naps, late dinners made by someone else, and visits with our dear friend Alan, who we met on our last cruise.
My sister and my mom are helping us by staying here with our puppies, so that makes it a hundred times easier.

I will be offline for the next week, and will drop in when we return.
In the meantime, A few pictures of...

My two oldest with our older pup...

One of the books I am taking on the ship.
Because. Guilty pleasure...

And a quick one Steve snapped of the kitchen in the new house. : )

I thank you all for your kind words and best wishes.
Please know how much I appreciate your visits, and blessings for a wonderful week ahead!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Random Photo Friday

Happy Friday, my friends! And Happy St. Patrick's Day weekend! The past week was a busy one here, and seemed to pass very quickly. Thank you for all the kind words regarding my Madison coming home! She and Nicolas arrived safe and sound, and my house and my heart are full. Well, my house is not all that full. Things are being moved out as we speak! The actual move is set for March 31, so we will celebrate Easter Sunday in our new home.  Here are a few pictures of the past week here in our cozy and chaotic home.

After Mass last week, Flynn lit a candle for a very special friend.
She loves lighting candles for special intentions.

I finally got new glasses.
Much needed.
Much better.

Two Mochas.
Both super sweet. : )

Speaking of sweet...
We went out to dinner with my friend Heather and her husband Dave.
We had such a great time visiting and eating.
And eating some more.
Flynn and I shared this amazing peanut butter pie.

And we made our last big shopping trip to our local Walmart.
Flynn told me before we went, we might not want to take Steve's truck.
I had to admit, she was right!

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

This Makes Me Happy

Any guesses???

Ok. One more...

My firstborn is returning home today!!!!
She and Nicolas are coming for a visit!
And my heart is happy. 

What are you happy about today, my friends??

Monday, March 12, 2018

Moms, Go Easy On Yourself

Scrolling through Pinterest one day last week, I asked myself what exactly happened to simplicity. With apologies to all who search Pinterest for the most creative and complex treats for their kids, I am going to go out on a limb and say that enough is enough. Moms...go easy on yourself. Simple is better, Trust me.

As a second grade teacher many years ago, I saw the many snacks and treats my students brought for parties. I saw the elaborate, individually decorated cupcakes adorned with unwrapped candies. I also saw the prepackaged cupcakes in the plastic wrappers. I specifically remember one thing very clearly. The children would look at and pick apart the messy, unwrapped, cupcakes an ambitious mom labored over. Then they would rip open the plastic and eat the store bought treats as fast as they could!

In a world where competition often overshadows common sense, it is easy to feel pressured to spend hours using homemade icing gluing tiny cookies onto a Twinkie. I am here to tell don't have to do that! Buy a box of cupcakes, cookies or fruit cups and call it a day. Spend the time saved playing a game with your children or perhaps taking a walk. After all, who do we moms really need to impress? The other mothers? The teachers? Or our own children, who will remember the time spent laughing with us as we watched a movie together way longer than they will remember those elaborate marshmallow covered sheep cookies?

OK. These just give me the creeps!


And this.
I feel like they would be stale and sticky.
And I shudder to think of how many times they were touched!

Although this sounds snarky, it comes from the heart.
A simple cupcake and a cup of Kool-aid...
The party treats of the 1970's...
That's what we enjoyed.
Go easy on yourself.
And give simple a try.

Pinterest for the pics. : )

Friday, March 9, 2018

Random Photo Friday

Hello, my friends and Happy Friday! I hope everyone experiencing this late winter weather is safe and warm and cozy. We are plugging away here in our cozy home. The girls and I are busy sorting and packing and cleaning, and Steve and Rhett are loading and delivering things to the new house. I am blessed to have so much love and encouragement from all of you, as well as from family and friends here at home. My sweet mom was here last week, and was so good at motivating me to get things done! At 81, she is the most positive and loving person ever! Steve's family has offered so much help, and my sister Margie and her husband Chris are lined up for moving day. Last but never least, Marian is coming this weekend to help, and I suspect for emotional support as well! : )

The week passed quickly. Here is what we were up to...

Why do we always take selfies on the way to Mass?
Simple. It is the one time a week we are all dressed and ready! 

Me. Ready for Mass...

Me. Every other day
(New favorite shirt from Gap.)

I want to be real here.
I don't ever want it to seem that I always have it all together.
Moving is messy.
My house is a hot mess.

Twenty one years of toys.
Well, the favorite ones, anyway.
I cannot, and will not give them up.

We are gathering new things as well as packing and donating the old.
Any guesses on the new color scheme?

Meals are a bit less complicated around here lately,
But I am not complaining!

And take out is popular too.
Our Dairy Queen introduced a new treat!
And I love it!!
It is called the Midnight Mocha Ultimate Frappe.
It is an iced coffee with soft serve, cocoa fudge and finely chopped chocolate chips...

Goes great with my side Caesar Salad from Wendy's.

Leaving you with these...

Because. Truth.
Please forgive me if I sound as if I'm whining.
I suppose I am.
This is a great exercise in patience and finding peace amid chaos for me.
And that is good.

Have a great weekend, my friends.
Thanks for visiting!

Monday, March 5, 2018

More Than Just Books

Moving is very enlightening. Our family is realizing just how much stuff we have. How much of this do we really need? From now on, I am determined to be much more mindful of careless purchases and impulsive spending. Except for one thing. Books.

Some women collect shoes. Some collect purses. Me? I collect books. I love to read, and always have several books on my bedside table. I have always been a reader. I read books like some people ride bikes, or play golf. It is just what I do. I mainly read autobiographies, true crime novels, and some select fiction.  I purchase many books on Amazon, and I usually pass them on to friends and family. I do, however, keep a few books as part of my collection. I cannot give them away. The characters in them are like friends to me. They have been with me through college, and work, and the births of my children. They keep me awake during warm summer nights, and cozy during the long, cold days of winter.

And so, as I begin packing my most important treasures to take into the next chapter of my life, I carefully place each of my books into the box and say goodbye. For now. Soon I will open that box and place them back on the shelves, right where they belong.
I always have a stack of books waiting to be read on my bedside table.

Some of my favorite paperbacks...
Ann Rule true crime and Wendi Corsi Staub mysteries...

My very favorite series ever...James Patterson's Alex Cross series.
Alex Cross is a detective in Washington DC, and works some of the most difficult cases ever.
I began reading these way back when I was first married. 

On a lighter note, I love Leslie Meier's Lucy Stone books.
Each one follows Lucy, a wife and mother in Maine, as she tries to solve holiday mysteries in her hometown.

And then I have a few random favorites I have read and reread through the years.

What about you, my friends?
Are you an avid reader?
What are some of your favorites?
I'd love to know.

Thanks for visiting!!!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Random Photo Friday

And just like that, it's March.

Our week was filled with packing and boxes and tubs and dust!
Have you ever experienced the copious amount of dust flying around when you start moving things that you haven't touched in months?
Here is a quick peek back at the week that was...dust not included.

I am enjoying my obsession with morning smoothies and afternoon salads.
But once in awhile, McDonald's is necessary, don't you think?

Especially when you have these two and your momma along.

We packed up essentials...
My Yankee Candle collection.

Mocha got tired of all the work, and demanded I take a rest with her.
Which of course, I did.

Leaving you with this one...
Because. Yep.

Have a cozy, happy, family filled weekend, my friends.
Thank you sooo much for all your kind words of support as we prepare for our new adventure.
They mean so much to us all!!!