Monday, March 31, 2014

Cruel Joke.

Five years ago (hard to believe I've been blogging that long...) Mother Nature played a nasty April Fool's joke on us (the good news is that 2 1/2 weeks later it was in the 70's...could that actually be in our future?! Also...that link is my 3rd post. Ever. 3. Whoa.). She dumped HEAPS of snow, forcing schools to declare a snow day. In April.

Not funny, Mother Nature, not funny.

Well, guess what, my friends?

We're under a Winter Weather Advisory. Again. For April Fool's Day.

Please hold me, I'm going to cry. (And it's gonna be ugly. Ain't no pretty cryin' over here.)

Currently our back yard looks like this:



(And yes, that is a path through the snow to the trampoline...raising tried and true Minnesotan kids over here.)

Let's see what it ends up looking like by 8 am tomorrow morning...

Sounds like the wind will be the bigger factor tomorrow, not a ton of snow, but rain, turning to ice, with snow on top and high winds. You're jealous, I can sense it.

Just in case you're not jealous enough, look what's in store for Friday:


Yay us.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Why Are We So Busy?

Life. It goes by so stinking fast, doesn't it?

And it gets clogged up with so much...stuff. Parties and sports and dance and commitments and meetings and appointments and this and that and OHMYGOSHLEAVEMEALONE. Right? 

I mean, seriously.

When I took my new job, I was really looking forward to the extra family "down time" we'd have on weekends and evenings. Family meals are so important to the Mr. and I and so often, when I was working a weekend, I longed to be home with my family. Doing whatever it was that they were doing.

I have those weekends free now (well, most...I'm still picking up an occasional weekend at the hospital) and guess what?

Ain't no downtime to be had. Feels like we're busier than ever before! It's constant...and I'm wondering, did life get busier or did my new weekend availability now create a debacle in which we say "yes" to things that we would've said "no, I'm working" to before?

There's a part of me that thinks life has just gotten, legitimately, busier. The kids are older, more involved in activities. Pal is a senior so there are a lot of "It's his last ______ (fill in the blank)" that I feel like we can't miss.

But then, I wonder...I don't recall being so blasted busy on weekends before. So many commitments and obligations...and I think, many of the "commitments" are things that, when I was working weekends, we were  "validated" in saying "no" to them. Now, however, when we don't have a legit reason to say no, I think we feel guilty and like we "have to" go to commitment X, Y, or Z because we don't have a reason not to.

Know what I'm saying?

Add in our vacation and our annual couple's night out in the Big City and our kids are ready to tie us up and never let us leave the house again! I feel bad, because we're not normally big "go-er outers" and lately it's been SOOOOOOO often.

I need downtime. I CRAVE downtime. I don't like being so busy and having my kids feel like we're leaving them all the time.

And I just can't help but wonder...are we TRULY busier or are we just more AVAILABLE now?




Friday, March 21, 2014

Five Question Friday!! 3/21/14

We're kickin' it old school today...bringing back 5QF for another ride around the block!

Also...I'd like to give Happy Birthday Shout Out to my amazing and wonderful husband, Mr. Wonderful. 41 years young today...love you, handsome! (Your own birthday post is coming later...)

Kinda excited about doing 5QF again...absence makes the heart grow fonder, perhaps? Been over 6 months since the last 5QF, hard to believe!


Okay, let's get this party started!

Welcome to Five Question Friday!! You've come to the right place if you want a fun, easy post to get you through your writer's block! 

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning and LINK UP! 


Oh, and remember (pay close attention...this is the important one)...HAVE FUN!


Questions for Friday, March 21st: (Special thanks to Pam (@trooppetrie) from Troop Petrie
Kate (@KatieB38) from ~Kate's Life~, Gassy Mama (@gasfamily) from The Gas Family(for the win, with TWO questions!!) and little ol' moi (@5crookedhalos) for these 5QF question suggestions!)


1. If I had 5 minutes alone with Mother Nature I would tell her?

2. If you could eat only one thing for a whole week what would it be?

3. What is your favorite season and why?

4. Do you have a meal that you are AMAZING at making? If so, share the recipe!

5. What has changed in your life since the last 5QF? (8/2/13 was the last one! Wow...over 6 months!)


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1. If I had 5 minutes alone with Mother Nature I would tell her?


Oh, boy. Boy oh boy oh boy would I LOVE 5 minutes alone with Mother Nature. I would sit her down and get all pointy-fingered at her and tell her to BACK THE HECK OFF and give us a break, already!


Sheesh. This is the worst winter many of us have ever lived through. Brutal cold, massive dumps of snow. Ugh. Oh yes. I'd let her have it. And then I would demand that she promptly deliver spring to us. NOW.


(Although, let's be honest...I'm kind of a wimp and I'd prolly be all, "Oh, yeah, sure. You betcha I love this weather. The snow is so beautiful. Oh, you want to send more? Sure. That'd be great." I'm not real good about standing up to people.)


2. If you could eat only one thing for a whole week what would it be?


Hmmmmmm...only one thing, huh? Well, I've learned something about my body, and that's that I can't go without protein. I get all carby and crash and burn if I don't have a little protein to temper my carbs with.


So, I'm gonna go with this...The Incredible, Edible Egg. We've got a back yard full of 'em (see question #5) AND their super versatile. Egg salad. Fried eggs. Scrambled eggs. Deviled eggs. (And right about now I'm feeling like Forest Gump...)


3. What is your favorite season and why?


Summer!!!! Especially this upcoming summer! (Again, see answer #5.) I love the heat. The swimming. The time with my kids. The late nights and late mornings. The 9 pm sunsets. S'mores. Campfires. Camping. EEEEEEKK!!!!! Is it summer yet?


The only thing I don't love about summer is that it's not long enough.


4. Do you have a meal that you are AMAZING at making? If so, share the recipe!


I do! I have a couple of "signature dishes"...my most requested being my grandma's Swedish Meatballs. They are putzy but SOOOOOOOO worth the effort...trust me on this one! It a pretty common birthday meal request around here...which reminds me, I haven't made them in quite some time! (The last couple of birthday parties had to be "brunches"!)


My other favorite is "Carrot Gravy"...named so by a 5 year old me. It's a Swiss Steak type of a dish that is so wonderful.


Both of the above dishes are served with mashed potatoes, which places them firmly in a "comfort food" category...and who doesn't love comfort food?!


5. What has changed in your life since the last 5QF? (8/2/13 was the last one! Wow...over 6 months!)


Well...for one, we are now the owners of 25 layer hens. Did you a chicken lays 1 egg every 25 hours? Do the math...that's 2 DOZEN EGGS a day. We have a lot of eggs these days. It's actually Belle's business that she started with the Mr. Kind of a fun little project for them!


And...I am now a school nurse! I traded in my Labor and Delivery cap for a "Jack-of-all-Trades" school nurse cap! Less stress, better hours...a good trade! I'm loving my new co-workers and I kept my employment at the hospital so I can get a baby fix when I need it!

Best of both worlds! The kids are loving me being home when they're home...and can you say HELLO SUMMER!!! Can't wait. I'm already scheming up ways we have fun! Thinking about a giant road trip out to CA (via the northern national parks and back home via the Grand Canyon)...visiting the Mr. bro and my baby bro along the way! Sounds glorious to me!


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Well friends, there you have it! That was fun...maybe we'll have to bring 5QF back every now and again! Have a wonderful weekend!



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thursday Night 5QF Sneak Peek

Yup...you read that right! Five Question Friday is back this week! After a few requests to bring 5QF back for a week, I thought, hey, why not?!

So here we are...back in the saddle...let's see if I can remember how to do this!


Welcome to Five Question Friday!! You've come to the right place if you want a fun, easy post to get you through your writer's block! 

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning and LINK UP! 


Oh, and remember (pay close attention...this is the important one)...HAVE FUN!


Questions for Friday, March 21st: (Special thanks to Pam (@trooppetrie) from Troop Petrie
Kate (@KatieB38) from ~Kate's Life~, Gassy Mama (@gasfamily) from The Gas Family (for the win, with TWO questions!!) and little ol' moi (@5crookedhalos) for these 5QF question suggestions!)


1. If I had 5 minutes alone with Mother Nature I would tell her?

2. If you could eat only one thing for a whole week what would it be?

3. What is your favorite season and why?

4. Do you have a meal that you are AMAZING at making? If so, share the recipe!

5. What has changed in your life since the last 5QF? (8/2/13 was the last one! Wow...over 6 months!)

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Wow...okay, now to remember my LinkyTools info to get the linky up tomorrow! Looking forward to blog hopping like it's 2010! ;)



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Snow Day Sick Day

JUST when we were starting to get a glimpse of spring (temps in the 40s, melting snow, patches of grass peeking through), we get BOMBARDED with another winter storm. 

For real. 4 fresh, fluffy inches have covered the ground...with another 4-8 on the way. Gross.



Just yesterday that tree (why yes, that is our Christmas tree...DON'T JUDGE) was completely free of any snow. And today, we woke up to new of (yet another) snow day! You know you've had too many snow days when even the kids start to complain..."I DON'T WANNA MAKE IT UP!!!". I feel your pain kiddos.

This snow day, however, was a bit of a reprieve for me. I have contracted the deadly plague. Yeah, yeah, yeah...so that's a bit of an exaggeration but still. Feel. Like. Crapola. Started off as a mean old sore throat and quickly progressed to an all consuming head cold.

You know, the kind of head cold in which your nose won't stop dripping so you shove toilet paper up it just so you can sleep and not be woken up by the drippage? Yeah, that.

My kids are treating me like a queen, however...breakfast in bed, orange juice afterward, cuppa tea, popsicle...I think they love me! :) Now, to see if I can drum up the energy to whip up some chicken noodle soup.

That's the worst thing about being a sick mom...you have to make your own "get well" food! 

PS...Who's up for a 5QF throwback on Friday? I think I'm gonna do it! 


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I Melted.

I worked at the hospital this past weekend...and had the pleasure reconnecting with my old co-workers. 

One of my co-workers, a sweet mother of many herself, a newborn foster mom, a doting grandma, had a visit from one of her (adorable) grandbabies.

Oh you guys. This baby. Nothing, in a long time, has given me quite the longing pangs as this sweet little munchkin did. 5 months old, all slobbery fingered and chubby cheeked and happy shrieks, she came right to me and nuzzled into my shoulder. I was smitten.

I offered to take her home. Actually, it was more like "begged"...but they wouldn't let me!! 

Oh that sweet girl did a number on me. Excuse me now, I need to go find my 6 year old and see if she'll play baby for me...

Friday, March 7, 2014

1 Thing I Learned About Flying.

As most of y'all know, I'm not a good flier. (As evidenced by my prescription for a sedative for flying only.) And by "not good", I mean, I avoid it at all costs. I never want it to prevent me from going anywhere, but I doubt I'll ever be a lover of travel and will only fly when absolutely necessary. 

It's just not worth it to me! Sure, I'll suck it up, pull up my big girl pants and slurp down a Valium, but you'll never find me salivating to hop on the nearest plane and jet away at frequent intervals.

Nope. Not me.

Which in turn, makes me one inexperienced flier. Like, I stand in the terminal and look this way and that, reading signs, trying to decipher which line I should be in and finally giving up and asking the nearest uniformed employee where in the heck I should be.

It also makes me not real savvy about security, appropriate attire and TSA pat downs.

Here's one thing: when I do fly, I fly in comfy clothes. If I could hop on a plane in my jammies, robe and slippers, I'd be a happy camper...but I believe they frown upon that in airport terminals, so instead I reach for my yoga pants and stretchy shirts.

Just so happened that I had a birthday shortly before we flew to Mexico. One of my birthday presents was an adorable pair of yoga pants from NYandCo with some sparkly decals on the back waistband (cute, not trashy) and a super cute shirt with sequined letters on the front. Across, ahem, um...you know...the girls.

Picture this: There I was, in the security line, my belongings on a conveyor belt in a little gray tub, and the x-ray vision tube thingamajig in front of me. I step into the tube, raise my hands all "I got this. I totally look like I know what I'm doing.", and step out to the young security man cordoning me off and telling me I had to wait for a female security guard.

Gulp.

Then he casually mentioned..."Are you wearing anything glittery?" Um, yeah dude, as I peek down into my hoodie at my sparkly shirt and remember the bling (remember, cute, not trashy) on the back of my waistband.

"Yes. Is that bad?"

"Nah. It can just set off the machine. You'll need to be searched."

Gulp.

So, she shows up and proceeds to pat me down. When they say "TSA pat down", they mean PAT. DOWN. Yikes. I needed a hug from my hubby when that was over. ;)

In the end, I was deemed safe to fly, no threat to other passengers, and allowed to proceed. Phew.

Let this be a lesson to all y'all...DO NOT WEAR SPARKLY CLOTHES WHEN YOU FLY.

Unless you want to experience all that a TSA pat down has to offer.

NO. SPARKLY. CLOTHES.

You've been warned.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

My Girl and Her (Great) Gram

With all the snow/cold days that we've had, the schools have resorted to doing some creative shuffling of the schedule...which left me working on a day my Baby Girl had off from school.

This day also happened to be my amazing Gram's birthday (her 82nd!)...good golly do I love that woman. I'm really not sure what I would do without her. (I love you Gram!!) Anyway, I was in need of someone to watch my sweet girl and I ran it past Gram and Gramp, who said they'd be delighted for Baby Girl to hang with them for the day!


The thought of my girl spending the whole day at grandma and grandpa's brought with it a surge of sweet memories from my childhood...Saturdays spent at their house after CCD, advent calendars filled with treats, "boken oken" eggs (broken yolks), coffee and graham crackers, love, laughter...ahhhhhhh, here I am, walking down memory lane again! Such warm, loving memories of those days.

Gram had it all planned out for my girl...they'd take her with them to coffee, then home to bake a birthday cake for Gram that my girl could decorate all on her own. The day was deemed an enormous success and the cake? Well, take a peek: 


Apparently at one point the cake was looking quite cute...but my babe must've been following the "if some is good then more is better!!" rule and when she was done she stood back, took a good look and said, "that doesn't look too good"!! Gram dissolved into laughter!

Oh, how I wish I could've been there to hear it! She still gets the giggles when she talks about it!

I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I am that my kiddos are going to have such fond memories of their GREAT-grandparents! How many kids "these days" have even met their great-grandparents, much less been able to forge relationships and make memories with them?

Warms my heart.

Happy belated Birthday to the most amazing Gram in the whole world...we are so blessed to have you as ours!! We love you, Gram!

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