Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Post Weekend

It's funny, because any time I put up one of these posts, it strikes me as how much these are mere glimpses into our days and weekends.  How many times did I break up a fight or calm a tantrum?  (Too many.)  How much of my time is spent making food, cleaning up food, or nursing a baby?  (Approximately all of it.)  Some of of my most treasured parts of this weekend - meeting friends for drinks and a much-need break on Friday night (I stayed out until almost midnight like the rebel I really am) and church on Saturday evening - are things that rarely make it to this screen.  All us moms are too excited to be out sans children having actual adult conversation to bother much with our phones (besides occasional checks to be sure that all is well on the homefront), and outside of a wedding or baptism, who bothers to take pictures at church, anyway?

All that to say that it's always funny, in a way, to look at these photos, and know that the circumstances had to be just right to take each one: no nursing baby, no crying toddlers, no fights, tantrums, or food clean-up going on.  And how RARELY they capture the actual reality of our days.  But they are moments in time that were good.  Very good.

I feel like I've said this all before (oh wait, I pretty much totally did, not all that long ago, dummy), but that's okay.  It's probably worth repeating.

(Literal moments in time.  I think my genius idea of "hey lets paint to kill some time because we're pretty much stuck inside on yet another 100+ degree day!" captured their attention for all of 15 minutes.  And we only had one spilled paint cup on the floor.)

(Poor man's watercolor paint = water + several drops of food coloring.  Plus some watercolor paper from a pad leftover from college because I'm *totally* going to take up watercoloring again someday HAHAHA jk I have three small children.)

(Everyone napped at the same time on Saturday.  Except for me.  It was so - what's that word? - quiet that I literally didn't know what to do with myself.  Do I read?  Do I get something done?  Do I eat all the chocolate?  I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH SUCH FREEDOM.)

(Baby kisses.)

(Om nom nom nom.)

(Never have I ever seen a bigger set of blue eyes.)

(Testing out the new patio set with Nana and Papa.  Theirs, not ours.  And this photo is representative of the approximate 1.48 minutes we were all sitting at the table at the same time before the two-year olds ran off like the hyper, uncivilized crazies they really are.) 

(Proof that it was worth it for my mom to hold onto all those old Beanie Babies.  Not because they're worth any money (ha!), but for the pure excitement these two had with them.  "Ami-mals!")

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Read, Watched, Listened

I love reading just about everything, watching comedy and documentary-type things, and have recently embraced the podcast.  I also enjoy hearing about what other people are reading, watching, and listening to.  Here's my two cents worth.


A memoir written by a woman who lost her father unexpectedly the same year President Kennedy was assassinated.  It was okay.  I was involved in it enough that I felt the need to finish it, but I'm not sure it was exactly enthralling enough to recommend.  She interwove her family's story with the that of the paper mill in town, where her father had worked, but the two stories never quite worked together for me and I thought it ended somewhat abruptly.

The subtitle is "Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe".  True that.  Each chapter has a section written by Sarah Mae, a section written by Sally Clarkson, and a verse with some questions for thought and reflection at the end.  It was well-written and there were several tidbits that I took away from this book.  I just wasn't prepared for the questions at the end...they would have been nice to ponder and journal through but I honestly just wasn't in the mood.  I wanted a book that was encouraging, that I could breeze through fairly quickly after a long day, and this wasn't it.  It wasn't the book's fault (it's not you it's me!).  I'll probably come back to this one at some point.  Probably would be even better done as part of a Bible Study/mom's group.

LOVED IT.  Read it, then read it again.  I re-read my favorite chapter (Russian Dolls) too many times to count.  So good that even though this was an ebook borrow from the library, I'm probably going to purchase a copy for myself.  Shauna's writing is just so beautiful.  Beware: when she writes about risotto, all you will want to eat is risotto.  When she writes about bacon-wrapped dates, you will want to eat ALL the bacon-wrapped dates.  When she writes about blueberry crisp, you better believe that you will want blueberry crisp right NOW.  I haven't actually made any of the recipes yet, but I certainly plan to.  Then you will make you want to gather everyone you know around your table to feast.

This book is different from a lot of what I read.  Part memoir, part humor, part poetry, with songs and odes to various foodstuffs sprinkled generously throughout.  The humor is very dry, which I really enjoy.  It's about, well, food.  And food experiences.  It's a book that doesn't take itself too seriously.  I'm kind of loving it.  It's been a good summer read.


This is literally about the only thing I've watched recently.  It's you-don't-have-to-think-hard funny, which is what I need most nights once the kids are down.  Plus I really enjoy Jim Gaffigan's humor.  The show is based on his own life (it's a spoof on his own life: Jim plays a comic in NYC, living in a small two-bedroom apartment with his wife and five children).  My only quibble is with the tired premise of a beautiful, capable wife married to somewhat incompetent oaf, with characters like the token gay BFF and the bored, womanizing bachelor.  Oh, and also their children are inordinately well-behaved.  Like, in the show they sit at the table and actually eat their dinner.  But it makes me laugh in spite of all that.  Watch for the priest, Father Nicholas.  He's my favorite.


Jamie interviews a different woman each week on her podcast.  It's faith-based (she's interviewed everyone from Jen Hatmaker to Korie Robertson) and each and every conversation is fantastic.  Her tagline is that they talk "about the big things in life to the little things in life and everything in between", and it's entirely true.  You feel like you are right there having a conversation with your own girlfriends.  One minute they might be talking about the trials of adoption and the next someone is sharing their favorite makeup product.  She asks each guest at the end for three things they are loving and what they are currently reading, and it has given me some GREAT recommendations for products (look out, bank account) and books to read.  That actually might be my favorite part of the show.  One of my favorite episodes is her interview with Jamie B. Golden.

A podcast of conversations by a married couple.  Each week they cover a topic (actually two, one from him and one from her, which they surprise the other with) and discuss.  The conversations aren't always the most stimulating to me (although many of them ARE fantastic), but the topics and some of their points almost always provide me with fodder for conversations with Tyson.  And, I think without meaning to, their natural conversation style demonstrates a beautiful and open way of working through conflict and issues with your own spouse.  Or anyone, really.  Check out episode 6, which covers napping and (wait for it) in-laws.

I know, I'm not exactly on the cutting edge here.  But I HAVE been listening to the Hamilton musical soundtrack on repeat.  Do it.  Listen to it while you wash dishes.  Turn it on while you make your grocery list.  Bounce around to it with your kids.  Belt it out while you're in the shower.  SO into it.  

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Big Chip 2016

One Good Day (aka Day One)

{Mom and dad are running around like crazy, packing up ALL OF MY THINGS, and all I want to do is swing.}

{Arrival: ready for action.}

{Life jackets: also handy for kid control.  Who needs a leash?}

{You have fun in that 52-degree water, daddy.  Imma stay right here with my camera, a good book, and a baby.}

One Rainy Day (aka Day Two)

{Not needed.  Whomp-whomp.}

{So...coloring?  I was informed that the above was a portrait of Caden.  Given that it looks like a scribbled whirlwind/tornado, I'd say that its accuracy level is high.}

{Rainy day don't care.  Okay that didn't rhyme.  But this guy didn't care.  Wash-outs are better with cute babies.}

{Who take rainy-day naps on big-person beds.}

{Rainy days also = a visit to the winery.  My fave was the You Betcha Blush, doncha know.}

{First time bellying up to the bar.  We start 'em young up here.  What happens at the lake stays at the lake.}
{Well, until your mom puts it up on her blog.}

One Perfect Day (aka Day Three)

{Feeding fish.  Fun fact: they enjoy Ritz crackers almost as much as toddlers do.  Almost.}

{You're welcome, fishy, fishy, fishies.}

{All the heart eyes.}

{It's called a Lily Pad.  As the below photos will show, the kids absolutely hated it and no one had any fun at all.}

{Nope, no fun at all.}

{"I dwive?  I dwive it?"  Oh yes, he drove it all right.  "I dwive boat!  I dwive boat!"}

{Noon = margaritas.  I love lake time.}

{"My turn!  My turn!"}

{First time dipping his toes into Big Chip.  HE LOVED IT.}

{At the very least, he didn't hate it.  Unlike the Caden and Brooklyn of two years ago.  One more sign of his absolute mellow-ness.  Chalk it up to being baby #3.}

{Trying to figure out sand.  And the sunlight glinting off the water.  Mind = blown.}

Day of Departure

{"We're going to go back to our blue house!"  Caden: "No blue house.  Big Chip!"  Brooklyn:  "No bye-bye!  I Big Chip!"}

{Breakfast on the way out of town.  I remember stacking condiments during this yearly breakfast, too.  Glad to see that the tradition has carried on.  We can call this a family tradition, right?  An event that happens annually?  Sounds like a tradition to me.  No matter how weird it might be.  It's all part of the Big Chip experience.}