Yesterday was the first day of fall, or, as my friend Sarah says, “The Farthest Away Summer Can Be.” Sarah and I are kindred weather spirits. Fall feels like a fresh start for me; it’s consistently the time of year when I am most inspired, most motivated, and most energetic (emotionally, physically, mentally). I’ve got big plans, folks, so here’s a peek at some of what is happening with me.
Blogging again. I have set myself some goals for this blog, for Needs More Butter, for Pictychy, and even for our Flickr photo stream. The video card in my laptop died, so I have had limited time on the computer. I’ve had to use Jason’s desktop, which is inconvenient in many ways, but I want to figure out how to make it work; I’ve been missing the creative outlet. (I haven’t, however, been missing having hours and hours sucked away by Facebook and Pinterest.)
Budgeting, and looking for ways to save money. I have never been terribly good at knowing what’s going on with finances—it has always seemed rather over my head and scary. But we’ve got a good plan in place right now, and I’m actually rather energized by the challenge of where we can overall live more simply and purposefully.
Walking every weekday morning at 6 am with Joie. This new habit has untold numbers of benefits, and so far the only downside that I see is that I’m half asleep by 9:30 every night.
Cooking and eating whole foods as much as I possibly can. I am excited to start the Whole Food Kitchen online workshop by Heather of Beauty That Moves. I signed up with my friend Shelli, who has taken the workshop once before and had such a good experience that she’s giving it another go. I will say that I enjoy the benefits of whole foods—I feel good about eating this way, and it is the way that I want to feed my family. But, oh! the work! It’s a ton of work, and sometimes I just want to go eat French fries for lunch.
Reading The Artist’s Way (again and still), My Life in France (still), and The Praying Life (first time).
Displaying some photographs at Redeemer. I’m not sure what it will all look like exactly, but a couple of people at church had the idea to exhibit work by the church’s many artists, and it will be an ever-changing gallery-ish idea. Anyway, this month, I will have a few photos up, alongside work by Rebecca Tredway, Jen Hinrichs, and Matt Cranford. Fun, right?
Planning some Halloween costumes for the kiddos. I want to be ahead of the game this year. So far my planning has involved a trip to Once Upon a Child to scout out footie pajamas and to the dollar store to price sponges. Start guessing!
Catching up with photos and hopefully some words to remember our recent stay/vacation (not really a staycation proper, but we didn’t go far; it was kind of a hybrid). Again, my computer being down for the count has stifled my on-top-of-it-ness.
Enjoying what a difference a year has made in Simon’s willingness to go to preschool (pre-Kindergarten, actually) and to other various not-with-me places, whether Children’s Church or Awana or the nursery for my weekly morning Bible study. He is just such a big kid about it. Most pre-K mornings he says something like, “I don’t really want to go to school today. But I will.” We’ve had no drop-off tears at all, and it’s such a relief. Clara on the other hand . . . ay yi yi with the separation anxiety and the stranger anxiety!
Toying with the idea of homeschooling—almost definitely not officially, at least not when they are all so little. But I am reading a ton about it and really wanting to be more deliberate about the time I spend at home with my kids. Just thinking through what school will look like for our family.
Drinking in this gorgeous weather, but most likely skipping the Pumpkin Spice Lattes this year (see above “budgeting” and “eating whole foods”). No worries, I am finding plenty of ways to savor the season.
Keeping things out of Clara’s mouth. This is pretty much my new full-time job. (Girlie is doing great. Surgery story still to come.)
Drinking gallons of Margie’s water and also iced coffee.
Free-lensing. Oh, man. I’m having so much fun with this technique. (The pic of Clara in this post is one of my first attempts.)
Teaching Ian to swat flies. Highly entertaining.
Reading My Life in France and A Homemade Life and becoming inspired to cook and/or bake again.
Also reading Dearest Friend: A Life of Abigail Adams.
Making my bed each day. I’ve never been a bed maker, but I’m rather enjoying the effect.
Thinking about trying another Whole 30. I think I’ve convinced my friend Lauren to join me this time.
Watching old episodes of Mythbusters and Dirty Jobs with Simon.
Listening to Fleet Foxes radio on Pandora.
Thrifting. I actually have never been much of a thrifter, but I found an end table at the Fremont Goodwill for $15 and have had the bug ever since. I’ve also picked up another end table, a 4-cup French press, and a couple of vintage pillowcases and an apron that I intend to make into dresses for Clara.
Rearranging some rooms in our house. Specifically, moving Jason’s office downstairs and making a nursery for Clara.
Supressing the major wanderlust that rises especially in the summer. The cabin fever from staying indoors out of the heat is only making things worse.
Thinking an “ing” entry is probably a good way to ease my way back into blogging after more than a month of (accidental) hiatus. It’s surprising to me how hesitant I still am, even now, to just get writing again.
Watching Make It or Break It on Hulu—every chance I get. Teen drama, heavy on the drama. Also Farscape on Netflix (with Jason, of course) and plenty of Bob the Builder.
Reading One Thousand Gifts with Redeemer women. Discussion on Wednesday mornings is truly a highlight of every week.
Drinking Orangina (well, not right this minute, but I will be as soon as I finish this entry—it’ll be my reward for actually hitting “publish”) and feeling (only slightly) guilty for letting Simon think we are all out (he looked in the fridge but didn’t see it in the door compartment).
Eating tons of vegetables from the CSA (this deserves its own entry) and trying new vegetables and new recipes. (Heads up, Needs More Butter!)
Walking around the block at a pace of 1 block every 5-10 minutes (or 30 min. total) and delighting in what the boys notice and stop for (but also sometimes getting impatient).
Driving a Honda Odyssey now. Oh yeah.
Sleeping for six, seven, and even eight hours at a time every night (thank you, Ian!).
Finding random things in the recycling bin—a pair of socks, a measuring cup (again, thank you, Ian).
Getting so, so excited for Joie and Jake’s wedding (next week!!).
Looking (incessantly) at the ultrasound picture from yesterday (this, too, deserves its own entry).
Craving lots of coffee these days. Keeping it decaf, though.
Reading Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand on the Kindle app on my iPhone. And Finding Nouf, hardcopy from the Bookmobile.
Watching Castle with Jason after the kids go to bed. It’s occasionally more predictable than I like crime shows to be, and yet we’re enjoying it thoroughly. And speaking of the kids going to bed . . .
Starting our second week of an amazing turnaround in our boys’ sleeping habits (possibly more on this in a separate post). I feel like a new woman. It’s good.
Getting inspired to quilt, to clean, to play (again, possibly more in a separate post to come) but
Having real trouble getting opportunity and energy/desire to line up.
Wiping a snotty nose. I mention it because it’s constant. And gross. Poor Ian.
Researching homemade baby food again – it’s almost time! To be honest, I’m kind of dreading the whole solid foods thing. I was so excited with Simon, but it was harder than I thought, and this time I’m perfectly content to wait until Ian is fully and officially six months old (but that’s at the end of this month!).
Not believing that my little blue-eyed, smiling squeezer is almost half a year old already.
Being totally inspired by these lunch ideas (HT: Rebecca). I’m thinking since all four of us will be eating solids soon, it’s a good time to regroup and renew my efforts to feed my family, and especially the kids, healthful foods.
Listening to A Thousand Splendid Suns on CD whenever I’m in the car. Excellent.
Drinking Toddys with vanilla soy milk. At least one a day.
Marveling at Rebecca’s photo, and fully expecting the Pioneer Woman to pick it for her bugs assignment. If she doesn’t, I’ll lose all hope of ever knowing what she (Ree) is looking for.
Loving Charity’s and Andy’s posts about their recent travels (More! More!).
Laughing at my kids. Many times every single day. Before I had kids, I really didn’t think a whole lot beyond I hope they love Jesus and I hope they’re funny. I do hope they love Jesus, and, dang, they are funny.
Looking for recommends for a good series to watch (Hulu, DVD, or Netflix Streaming) during naptime—not that the boys ever sleep at the same time, but I can hope.
Stopping here so I can read for the remainder of Simon’s nap (and, actually, Ian is crashed out too).
Breaking my newly implemented “no blog post without a picture” rule—already.
Realizing that I didn’t take a photo today, but choosing not to take one just for the sake of taking one. This has happened a bit more often since the six-week hiatus I had after Ian was born when our camera was being repaired.
Accepting a less than perfect record.
Wondering if I should have hyphenated “less than perfect.”
Brushing up on my copyediting skills and hoping these decisions start coming more easily again.
Packing for Peoria. Tomorrow morning Ian and I are headed east to celebrate Kate’s residency graduation.
Trying not to worry about all that needs to happen between now and then or about how Ian will travel or about being away from Simon for longer than I ever have been (for perspective, we will be back on the ground in Lincoln less than forty-eight hours after we take off).
Worrying about all those things anyway.
Hoping Ian will sleep better tonight than he did last night (and Simon too, for that matter).
Going to bed.
Reading this daily with Simon, It is excellent, and, best of all, it is making me want to read more of this.
Drinking some tasty coffee from Trader Joe’s. I’m thrilled that Omaha will be getting a TJs later this year.
Watching a lot of Toy Story lately. I think “Buzz” is Simon’s cutest word yet. He also tries to say “To infinity and beyond!” (that’s what he’s trying to say in this video)—almost all of it is unintelligible but undeniably cute.
Eating two vegetarian meals a week. Tonight we have tofu with tikka masala sauce on the menu. And I think I’ll garnish it with a little cilantro since my cilantro is actually growing!
Going to see Babies with some friends tonight. And still thinking about an article I read the other day about the morality of babies. Babies on the brain, I guess.
Sleeping really well at night, thanks to an exceptionally precious four-month-old who is a champ sleeper and some really cool spring nights that have caused us to turn the heat back on.
Sighing. Looks like naptime is over, and that means so is blogging for now.
Celebrating my wonderful dad’s birthday today. He’s 60!
Thinking I really need to detox from all the Easter candy sugar (but not really planning to do so until all the candy is gone, let’s be honest).
(Obsessively) gathering ideas for quiet books. I really want to make one for Simon before we go on a roadtrip this summer.
Helping Simon learn to “embroider.” We used burlap and embroidery floss. He really liked pulling the needle through (and I liked it too once I tied a knot so that I wouldn’t have to rethread the needle each time). I think his/our first attempt was a success.
Researching local CSAs and deciding what to plant in our garden. Yes, that’s right, we’re going to attempt a (small!) garden this year.
Reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver, and a whole buncha books on creative storage solutions (I’m still on my decluttering rampage).
Snuggling little Ian, since he won’t take a nap in his crib today.
Delighting in Simon’s ever-expanding vocabulary. (I need to catch him on video because it is so stinking cute how he tries so valiantly to communicate.)
Finishing this entry on Thursday morning because I got interrupted yesterday.
Wishing for more time to blog (‘cause I actually have some thoughts brewing).
Watching the snow fall in beautiful big white clumps.
Missing my camera!
Hoping it might be warm enough tomorrow to let Simon play in the puddles. He discovered a few on our sidewalk on the way into the house today, and I would have loved to have been able to linger and let him explore and splash to his heart’s content. Alas, I had a hungry baby to attend to and lunch to get on the table and naps to put the boys down for and a messy house to pick up and . . . and . . . and . . . But tomorrow is a different story.
Looking forward to having my husband home for a three-day weekend, starting tomorrow (see how that works?).
Feeding Ian. Actually, it’s pretty much a given that whatever else I might be doing, I’m either getting ready to feed Ian or feeding him. The kid eats all the time.
Adjusting (quite well, generally) to life with two kiddos in the house. Some days are better than others, and so are some nights, but on the whole I just like it.
Drinking a Diet Dr. Pepper and craving Junior Mints.
Feeling proud of myself for exercising three days this week but planning to skip today. I just couldn’t drag myself out of bed in time this morning—if it were light longer, I’d love to go for a walk when Jason gets home, but I don’t think I can face the DVD player tonight.
Thinking about the whole idea of inspiration/motivation. Jason and I went on a date to (the Peacock and) Barnes and Noble last night (thank you, Mom and Dad), and sitting in an overstuffed chair with a stack of books to browse made me want to read (not just those books but read more in general) and write and sew and take pictures and organize my house. So today I’ve been thinking not only about doing those things but also about the more general feeling of wanting to do those things.
Watching Project Runway with friends tonight.
Planning to cook some freezer meals this weekend (and to post the recipes on Needs More Butter).
Praying differently these days about some bigger issues (no, you won’t be reading about them on the blog. Sorry) and being encouraged by how that is beginning to soften my heart.
Finishing (maybe tonight) The Two Towers and looking for a new fiction book to start (in addition to The Return of the King, of course).
Trying to find ways to be a bit (or a lot) more frugal this year. I hate to admit it, but it helps that I am not inclined to take two boys to Target just to pass the afternoon (Simon and I did that a lot).
Watching tv on streaming Netflix. We just finished season 3 of 30 Rock. It took a while for that show to grow on me, but boy did it.
Craving Junior Mints. I know I already said it. Seriously.
Listing new categories that I need for my blog (one being “Ian Clifford”). (This is for you, Jason, to see if you are reading this. Can you make that happen, please?)
Enjoying a few more minutes to myself before the end of naptime (but also greatly enjoying my big two-year-old and rather looking forward to hanging out with him more this afternoon).
Busting out the long sleeves and socks. Ahhhh. Love it.
Rejoicing greatly in the apparent end to Simon’s unwellness this weekend. (We think it must have been roseola—high fever for three days and a rash today.) He seems to be back to his own self (well, a bit more crankers than usual); he is, however,
Napping (much) longer than usual. (Yesterday he took two three-hour naps and still slept through the night; today he had two two-hour naps). You’d think that I’d be
Getting lots done, but, alas, I’m not. Instead I’m
Blogging (you’re looking at it, folks) and
Baking pumpkin bread.
Drinking a caffeine-free Diet Coke (not Pepsi), since it was finally on sale at the grocery today. I’ve haven’t had much soda in the last few months because it’s so expensive. I have some Pepsi products in the pantry, but they just don’t call to me in the same way. And, speaking of beverages,
Mourning the fact that my beloved Pumpkin Spice Lattes are just too sweet and not sounding good at all. (What’s happening?)
Enjoying evenings with my guys.
Planning colors and whatnot for Baby 2’s nursery and finally
Feeling motivated to get busy nesting, both in his room and elsewhere about the house.
Fighting a bit of a headache and the urge to go to bed at 8:45.