January 23, 2015

Memories and Snow...

It's time for me to start meditating on a regular basis again. I have never been very good at it, but just the act of sitting still for a few minutes and calming my thoughts does wonders for me. Last night, I found myself getting snippy with my kids and then my husband, and I know that I get that way when I'm stretched too far. My goal for the coming weeks will be to find a way to sit still and take a few deep breaths from time to time. 

We watched the movie "Boyhood" last weekend, and I can't stop thinking about it. It's not exciting, and my husband dozed on and off throughout the movie. But it's beautiful. There were several aspects of the boy's childhood that I could relate to my own, and I thought about what my own movie would look like. What are main memories I have of my childhood - the big moments as well as the little, seemingly insignificant ones that have stuck with me all these years?  They've been playing in my head all week. How did they influence who I am today?

As I read to the boys this week, one snuggled in on each side, I thought about their childhoods. They are really only now getting to the point of forming lasting memories, especially my little Nathan. I think about the kind of childhood they're having. On one hand, I only want them to have happy memories, and yet at the same time I know that we all grow through the hard parts. I also know that I will not always be the biggest influence in their lives. Love is letting go, little by little, and allowing them to grow. Figuring out when to hold on and when to let go is the trick, and we're only at the beginning.


After too much work lately, I am very much looking forward to a family-focused weekend. We're set to get our first snowstorm of the winter tomorrow, which means movies and hot chocolate and snuggling in front of the fireplace. On Sunday, after the storm passes, we will be playing in the snow. Hoping to get a day on the slopes nearby.

Making memories...

January 19, 2015

Ages and Ages - Do the Right Thing

I just love this song and this video. It makes me smile. This album was put back into heavy rotation over the last couple of weeks - it seems to fit my mood and desire to keep things light and energetic during this cold and dreary January.  

January 15, 2015

This and That...

I'm definitely back in full swing at work. I go back and forth between loving it and wanting to pull the covers over my head, feeling fulfilled and guilty, being tired and exhilarated. On one hand, I feel guilty that our boys have had inconsistencies in their after-school care. I feel guilty that they often need to go to school early so that we can get to work. On the other hand, I know without a doubt that it is a good thing for them to see their father making lunches and doing school drop-off. It's a good thing for them to see me working. I know I need to come to terms with this state of being, because I would no doubt be doing the same thing if I was not working. In fact, just last year I was!

Kevin and I filled each other's stockings for Christmas. One of the items I put in his was the Taylor Swift CD, 1989. I knew it was his guilty pleasure, and he readily admitted to cranking up the volume every time "Blank Space" came on the radio. I thought it was funny, but little did I know how much he would love it. Since then, I have caught all three of my boys singing TS songs under their breath around the house. I am okay with this. (And yes, Sara, we are jelly. ;-)

Taylor Swift, via billboard

I've been in that January state of mind. I purchased an organization system to store all the boys' art supplies - that clean set of drawers and baskets makes me so happy. I filled a couple more boxes to be donated. I organized our closet. After the excess of the holiday season, all I want to do is get rid of stuff!

Speaking of excess, I've also been mindful of our diet. Another typical January activity...We just ate cheese and cookies and drank wine for an entire month - now let's cut it all out! I'm not one for any kind of elimination diet or cleanse - moderation is my friend. That said, I decided to cut out alcohol for the month of January. Ice cream too. I'm in a general rhythm of a greek yogurt and granola for breakfast, a big salad and/or soup for lunch, and a small balanced dinner with the family. With some dark chocolate snacks after the boys go to bed, because like I said, I am not about to deprive myself of everything!

We went to a concert last weekend - an annual benefit concert for a local charity foundation. We went last year too. This year, we not only got to see Kay Hanley and Tanya Donelly (Belly), but we saw The Juliana Hatfield Three perform for the first time in 20 years. All their songs brought me back to my college days. Sunny days on campus, and going to clubs to see shows. It was so fun to see them.

Juliana Hatfield

Work interrupted the weekend, but we did also make time to hit the bookstore. I am a sucker for books, and the stack on my nightstand is getting low. I'm not near the end of my current book, but it's always nice to have something to look forward to. And the bookstore is a pretty fun outing. The boys each spent some of their allowance money, of which I heartily approve, and I picked up a couple for me and Kevin too.

We're looking forward to our next vacation - more skiing next month! Before that, I'm trying to plan a quick girls' ski weekend. Let's see if it's possible for a few working moms to plan an outing just for us. I think it is. We're also dreaming of a warmer vacation...perhaps celebrating Kevin's 40th on a beach somewhere? Anything's possible...  And then we need to plan the summer.

It's January. A time for cleaning, purging, eating healthy, exercising, organizing, and planning. A time to look forward to the rest of the year in anticipation. Welcome 2015!

January 12, 2015

Recently Read

The Children Act, by Ian McEwan.  I really want to love all of Ian McEwan's books.  The first of his books that I read was 'Atonement', which I absolutely adored.  Since then, I've started his books with very high expectations, and I almost always feel let down. This book was good. It was interesting. The writing, as always, is beautiful and true. But it just never grabbed me, and I never felt a true connection with the characters.

Suspect, by Robert Crais.  This is not a book I would've normally picked up. I received it in a gift basket we won from our local library during last summer's reading challenge. I am not normally drawn to thrillers or crime dramas, but I read it anyway, and I rather enjoyed it.

Us, by David Nicholls.  I am not sure how I feel about this book. On one hand, it's such a realistic story, and the family dynamics are perfectly portrayed. I really felt for all of the characters. On the other hand, maybe it was a little too realistic? I found it somewhat sad, even though it ends in a perfectly satisfactory way. I guess I usually wish for that Hollywood happy ending and feel a little let down when it doesn't deliver. But maybe it's better - and all the more touching - exactly because it's not a typical happy ending.

January 10, 2015

Do Less With More Focus...

This is my goal for the year.  It's difficult, because there are so many things that I want to do and that need doing, but when I try to do everything, I constantly feel like I'm failing.  I have to make choices, and certainly there are things that can be eliminated.  It's a good goal.  

As I skied with my boys over the holiday, I focused.  I took in all the beauty and fun of a vacation with quality family time. Now, let's be perfectly honest:  skiing is hard.  Skiing with kids is really hard.  There's so much stuff - to pack, to carry, to store, to put on, to take off...  Every year, I have moments where I question our sanity in doing it. It's expensive, it's cold, it's difficult. But then I watch Nathan shaking his behind at me to show me how he's perfecting his turns, I hear Aaron shout "woo-hoo!" after landing a jump, I breathe in the cold, clear mountain air and admire the scenery, and there is absolutely no question - it's worth it. 

I thoroughly enjoyed every run, frozen fingers and all, I took in the beauty of the surrounding mountains, and I smiled at the fun my boys were having in front of me. I also loved the hot chocolates and the games of Uno in the lodge and a visit to friends and movie nights.  It was beautiful.  

the ride to the top

best spot in the lodge!


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