May 31, 2013

House Update - Patio

After last year's construction, we named 2013 the "year of the outdoors".  Now that we had the inside of the house the way we wanted it, we had some work to do in the yard!  After a lot of neglect, we've spent many hours weeding and planting and generally working on making our yard a nice place to be. 

The big project included repaving the driveway, new brick sidewalks, and a new patio!  We are SO excited to have a comfortable area to sit outside.  The first few years, we didn't have anything at all, and the last few, we had a picnic table set up in the grass.  This is a huge step up.  

The patio table and umbrella just got delivered a couple days ago, and the boys and I ate dinner on it that very night...and every night since.  It is awesome.   The grass is still coming in, and we'll be spreading mulch this weekend, but we are already so happy with how it's coming along.  

May 30, 2013

Dear Reader...

Day 27 of The Challenge.  A letter to your readers.

This is me.

Dear Reader,

The above picture was taken by Nathan, my 3-year-old.  It's how I look most of the time now, I suppose.  Hair up and messy, casual.  And don't get me started on the wrinkles around my eyes.  But I look happy and relaxed; and wrinkles are just the price we pay for smiles and years, which makes every single one of them totally worth it.  I don't have many pictures of me, as I have mentioned before, but it's nice to know who you're communicating with in this blog world, isn't it?  And this one does seem true to life.  

I don't have many readers, and that's just fine.  I write this blog mostly for me anyway, but I am really happy that I've created a small community of like-minded followers.  My online friends.  I may not meet many of you in real life, but these connections are real.  You are a part of my life.  I care what's happening in your part of the world and how you are doing.  I appreciate your comments.  Whatever it was that caused you to stumble on to my space, and whatever it was that prompted you to stick around, I'm grateful and happy you did.  


May 29, 2013


Day 29 of The Challenge.  Five songs or pieces of music that speak to you or bring back memories.  

I share music on my blog all the time, so it was a little harder to figure out what I wanted to share in this one.  I've written about songs that bring back memories.  I've told you my favorite classical music.  I've listed my favorites for the past few years. showcase something a little different, I decided to dig out just a few collaborations between artists I love.

Ryan Adams and Laura Marling - Oh my Sweet Carolina

Josh Ritter and Rainn Wilson - In Your Arms Again (played in the back of Rainn's

The Lumineers and Langhorne Slim & the Law, covering Violent Femme's 'American Music'

Ivan & Alyosha featuring members of The Lone Bellow

May 28, 2013

Around The Yard...

Day 28 of The Challenge.  Only pictures.

May 26, 2013

A Few Things...

Day 26 of The Challenge.  Something you read online.


20 Things Every Parent Should Hear.  Things we all know and yet need to remind ourselves.  And often.

No, The Pope Didn't Just Say All Atheists Go To Heaven.  I thought this was a really interesting and optimistic article.  Perhaps there is a path to more openness from the church.  Regardless, the idea that whatever our beliefs, we should all strive to do good, is a worthy one.

I want to see this documentary.  There doesn't seem to be enough time to see all the movies I'd like to see.  But Summer's almost here.  As TV shows end, the time for movies increases.  This one is on my list for sure.

And in the theaters, I really want to see Before Midnight.  I do think I need to go back and re-watch Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, though.  I didn't love Before Sunrise when I first saw it, but then I saw it again later and realized all I had missed.  They are movies full of talk and very little action, but they are compelling and true and beautiful.

Processed Meats too dangerous for human consumption and Does grilling cause cancer?  I've been telling this to my husband for years, but only after reading the first article is he ready to give up hot dogs and sausage.  I only buy all-natural, nitrate-free sausage for him at home, but he's a big meat eater and sausage is one of his favorite foods.  Now he's thinking twice.  And supporting me when I tell Aaron he's not allowed to eat hot dogs away from home.  (Where again, I do allow the occasional nitrate-free version.)

Why Do I Think My Salary Pays for Child Care?  I don't know that I thought about it exactly in this way, but I definitely did the math over and over again, comparing my salary to the cost of child care, housecleaning, commuting, gas, etc.  I found I did align my salary to the boys' expenses overall, but maybe because I was the one generally paying them.  (I buy their clothes, for example.)  It's interesting to read and think about.  Perhaps we need to separate those thoughts more than we do.

before midnight

May 25, 2013

Someone Told Me...

Day 25 of The Challenge.  Something someone told you about yourself that you'll never forget.


It was 1998.  My father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  When I got the call, I got in the car and drove from North Carolina up to his house in New York.  I was two years out of college, and I had just wrapped up a huge project at work.  Thankfully, my company at the time was extremely cool about my taking off, and I ended up staying out of work for about six weeks.  Unfortunately, this was the amount of time between my dad's diagnosis and his funeral.

During that time, I did whatever I could do to help.  My dad was in and out of the hospital, but I hung out with him when I could.  I went grocery shopping.  I washed his sheets.  I watched movies with him.  I also got to spend time with my siblings, who were all there during some portion of time.  In a way, it was a really special time because it pulled us all together.

Towards the end, my dad was in pretty rough shape.  He had a bag attached to him, collecting bile.  (His liver was cancerous as well.)  It kept leaking, so I'd help him change it and change his bandages and shirt.  I don't want to make it sound like I was the only one there, because that was very far from the case.  He was surrounded by family, especially after we moved him to our family's lake house on Lake Ontario.  My aunts and uncles were there, many cousins made appearances, and as I said, my siblings as well.  That said, I was one of the few who was able to be there the entire time, since most people couldn't take that much time off work or school.  And there were times when it was just me and a couple others.

During one of these times, my dad needed a bath and was unable to do it by himself.  My uncles helped get him clean, but they couldn't get him back to his bed and needed help.  They were reluctant to ask me, but there was nobody else, so they did.  I helped them lift my dad into bed and get him back into his clothes.  I didn't give this a second thought.  It didn't make me uncomfortable in any way.  It's what you do when someone needs help.

Afterwards, my Uncle Eric, who is a doctor, stopped me as I was leaving the cottage.  I won't attempt to quote him, but he told me he was very proud of me and impressed at how I handled that situation as well as some of the other things I had been doing.  Seeing someone naked and so vulnerable and hurt would be difficult for some people, he said.  He told me I would've made an excellent doctor.

These comments have stuck with me, and they are words I won't forget.  I am proud of myself for being there for my dad, and it was nice to hear it from my uncle too.  And this trait I have - being able to stay calm and handle situations that may make others uncomfortable or cause them stress - is one that I am most proud of.  Perhaps I would've made a good doctor - we'll never know.  But it helps me in other ways too.  When my son fell in the shower and had blood streaming down from his head, my response was measured and calm.  To me, there's no point in freaking out about things.  You figure out what the problem is and work towards fixing it.  Keeping everyone calm helps this.

This was a long story, but I think the full context was necessary to understand why my uncle's comments are important to me, and why I'll never forget them.

May 24, 2013

My Three Worst Traits...

Day 24 of The Challenge.  Your top 3 worst traits.

1.  I'm impatient.  Ask anybody who knows me.  And hurry it up, will you?

2.  I am not spontaneous.  I get irritated when we make plans and they don't work out exactly as I had anticipated.  I am not good with doing things off-the-cuff.  I hate being late, so don't ask me to make just one little stop on the way to where we're going.  I am not good at last-minute plans.  I get annoyed when plans go awry, forcing us to change things up.  Bottom line - I try, but I have a hard time just letting go.  Unless it's what I planned to do.

3.  I'm not good at small talk and I can't ever remember people's names.  There are women who I've talked with probably 40 times this year, and I don't know their names.  I always try to own this up front and ask several times, say it back to them to try to remember, but at some point it becomes too late.  My only hope is if it comes up naturally in conversation, or if I can get in a situation where introductions are necessary.  It's a serious source of stress.  I wish I didn't suck at this.

What's your least favorite trait about yourself?

Laura Marling - Once

Laura Marling's new album, Once I Was An Eagle, comes out on Tuesday.  I've already listened to it several times via NPR.  It's really great.  Laura Marling never disappoints.  As a 23-year-old, it's amazing how much she's already produced.  I love that she's young, though - it means she'll be making music for many years to come.

photo by Kristin Wilson, via NPR

May 21, 2013

From the Archives...

Day 21 of The Challenge.  (Yes, I've skipped a bunch.  You're not actually counting, are you?)  Today's prompt is to include a list of links to your favorite posts from your archives.

This was interesting and fun to do.  It was also somewhat embarrassing, to go back to the early years, when I really wasn't sure what I was doing with this space.  It kinda makes me want to delete this blog and start from scratch.  But then there are a lot of nice comments, pretty pictures, and good memories hidden within too.

Who I Am - I often take my inspiration from other bloggers, as I did with this one.  If you're new to my blog, this post will give you a little glimpse of me.

Perception is Reality?  Many bloggers have probably expressed this sentiment more eloquently, but it's an important topic and one that we should remember.

The Chaos Theory - Keeping it real.  Being a mom is hard.

Home Is... - A little more about my part of the world.

A Few Notes... - I should write posts like this one more often.  One of the main reasons I blog is to stay optimistic and to look at life in a positive way.  This post definitely did that for me.  I started saying thank you in my head a lot.

Family... - Sometimes it's nice to use the blog as a way of expressing feelings you might not otherwise say out loud often enough.  And it's nice when the people who read it understand and relate.

Italy - I love when my posts from Italy (and Paris!) pop up.  The pictures bring me back to that beautiful countryside, drinking wine, eating pasta, and swimming with my boys.

Things I've Learned - This is my favorite of all the Things I've Learned posts I've written.  I read these and am reminded of things that are easy to forget sometimes.

The Juggling Act - This is really the essence of what my blog has been about, especially those first few years.  I was working full-time, raising babies, trying to maintain and create friendships, and otherwise keep up with the chaos of life.  I needed to focus on the positives to get through it.  I'm taking a break now, and the kids are no longer babies, so life is dramatically calmer.  That said, there's always chaos from time to time, isn't there?

May 20, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Blogs

Day 19 of The Challenge.  Five of your favorite blogs and what you love about them.

This is harder than it sounds.  I follow quite a few blogs.  And I also feel like I've told you about many of them already.  My friend Sara that inspired this blog.  My friend Lou who is living a parallel life to mine in England and inspires me with every post.  Simone, who writes about life and London and parenthood alongside some of the most beautiful pictures on the internet.  Natasha, at Beautifully, Suddenly, whose amazing pictures I sometimes include here on my own blog.  I could go on and on.  But here are the five I chose to highlight today.

1.  n'est-ce pas?

Hollie lives a beautiful life in Texas, with her gorgeous 4-year-old daughter.  She and I share a love of the stars, an interest in living a simple life, and a desire to continue learning.  

Written by Karina Bania, this blog is quite obviously the work of an artist.  She includes pictures of her children's artwork every week, and in addition to displaying beautiful art and pictures, she writes beautifully honest posts.  If you like blogs with thought-provoking content, add this one to your list.

This is my latest favorite food blog.  I got this cookbook this year, and it has become a go-to source for dinner inspiration.  It is a cookbook that you want to read.  And her blog is more than just recipes too.  Stories, articles, interviews, and anecdotes of family life that any of us balancing kids and mealtime can relate to.  

4.  Elsa May

Often sparse with words, this blog is more of a collection of loveliness.  Pictures, videos, songs... all beautiful and inspiring.

Meg Fee is an actress living in Brooklyn.  I love seeing Brooklyn and NYC through her lens, and this girl has a way with words.  We also share a love of music, so I enjoy the occasional music selections.

Menu of the Week

all pictures via Cooking Light

Garganelli with Asparagus & Pecorino Cheese, Salad
A new favorite asparagus pasta recipe.  As always, the key to a recipe with few ingredients is quality.  I splurged on a nice block of pecorino cheese, and the asparagus is in-season and fresh.  It was yummy.

Black Bean Quesadillas, Corn Salsa, Tortilla Chips and Guacamole
An old favorite that I haven't made as-written in a long time.  I had forgotten how good these are, and I love baking the quesadillas so they're all ready at once.  The boys didn't like the corn salsa, but that's okay.  I did.

Honey Cashew Chicken with Rice
This was a big fat fail.  Well, that's not true.  It's a great recipe, and I enjoyed it very much.  The boys were just cantankerous that night and were not cooperating.  Nathan spent more time in time-out than he did eating dinner.  Some nights, that's just the way it goes.  (Note:  In dishes like these, I use half the meat called for, and I only serve it to Aaron and Kevin.)

Turkey Reubens, Salad/Carrot Sticks
Another old favorite that I haven't made in a while.  I made regular hot turkey and cheese sandwiches for the boys.

May 17, 2013

The Staves - Wisely & Slow

The Staves.  A new favorite.  I had a hard time deciding which song to include here.  Please go listen to all of them.  They are gorgeous.

Their album, Dead & Born & Grown, is only $5.99 at Amazon.  You have no excuse.

Favorite Photo of Me...

Day 17 of The Challenge.  A favorite photo of yourself and why.

I swear, I spent hours going through our pictures, trying to find one of me that I liked.  I'm pretty confident, truly, but I really don't like many pictures of myself.  We don't have very many either, especially pictures of just me.  I do think I need to set a goal for my husband to rectify that.  All that said, I managed to find two to include here:

Why do I like it?  Because look where I am!  This was taken during our trip to St. John.  This picture perfectly represents the entire trip.  Happy and relaxed and fabulous.  

Because you can barely see me in that one, I picked another.

I like this one because it makes me look like a badass.

May 16, 2013

Aaron's Favorite Granola

bad picture, I know, but better than no picture at all?

In addition to granola bars, I've finally learned how to make homemade granola.  It is so easy and good, and I think it will be a regular happening at my house from now on.  I looked through tons of online recipes before giving it a go, and I have tried quite a few batches at this point.  Aaron has eaten them all, but I finally made some that he said was better than his favorite kind from the grocery store.  I'm recording the recipe here so I have it saved somewhere.  (I should write it on a card for my recipe box, too, huh?  Okay well, blog first!)

Even more so with granola bars, the ingredients are so flexible.  If you like almonds better, go for it.  Add wheat germ.  Or sunflower seeds.  You just have to have enough of the 'wet' stuff to lightly coat the 'dry' stuff.  That's the only guideline.  Also...All amounts are -ish, of course.  Many are not measured at all.  A few shakes of cinnamon, a dump of flax...  But I did try to pay attention this time.

Lastly, this version is definitely less sweet than most store-bought granola.  If you like it sweeter, you could add 1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar.  Mix it with the wet ingredients until dissolved.

Aaron's Granola

Heat oven to 375.

5 cups oatmeal
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 flax seed
1-2 cups pecans (second favorite:  walnuts)

Mix all of the above in a large bowl.

1/3 cup coconut oil
splash of vanilla
1/3 cup agave
1/3 cup honey

Add all the above to a small saucepan.  Heat over medium until oil is melted and everything is blended.

Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and pour on a large baking sheet.  Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, stirring several times and watching to make sure it doesn't overcook.  Let cool.

Once cool, Aaron likes to add dried blueberries or dried cherries.  I like raisins best, so we leave the dried fruit for the individual.

Do you have a favorite granola recipe?

I Apologize...

Day 13 of The Challenge.  Issue an apology.

I'm sorry, Kevin, for posting this video which makes you look like you don't know how to use a camera.  I'm sorry to my sister Dawn, too, who appears in it with me, although I don't think she'll mind.

I ran across this video when searching for a picture of me.  It made me laugh, and since this blog is my happy place, I decided it belonged here.  It was taken during a 2005 trip to Prague and Budapest with my sister and brother-in-law.  Our favorite pub was a place called U Fleku in Prague, where the beer has been made by monks for the past half-century or so.  It was wonderful.  The shots we are enjoying were served warm and were very sweet.  And strong.  Happy days...

May 15, 2013

A Day in the Life...

Day 15 of The Challenge.  A Day in the Life.

I have touched on my typical days in many recent posts, including this one just last week; so I'm not going to describe the general day, I'm going to be very specific and describe today.  It was a pretty typical day, but they're all a little different, and that's a good thing.  This topic also made me remember my guest post over at Lou, Boos and Shoes.  I wrote it last year, and my gosh I think my blood pressure went up just reading it.  It's amazing how much has changed since then.  To today...

the walk home from school

The alarm went off at 4AM, because my husband had to catch an early flight this morning.  I stayed immobile, but perhaps I grunted to him on his way out the door.  Nathan ran into my room at 6 and crawled in bed with me.  I enjoyed a half-hour of snuggles before getting up.

I did 45 minutes of exercising, in my family room with workout DVDs.  Nathan watched me and only interrupted me once to ask for Buzz Lightyear.  By the time I finished, Aaron was downstairs with us.  I made coffee and breakfast.  Nathan's preschool is right across the street, so it's a pretty easy drop-off, and then Aaron and I decided to enjoy the gorgeous morning and walk to his school.  It's about a 15-minute walk, and I love this time.  I don't get a lot of one-on-one time with Aaron, and I'm stunned at how much he's grown this year.

this smell!

Once I made it back home, I enjoyed one more cup of coffee and read a little of the paper.  I then refreshed the lilacs in the vase on the dining room table.  My yard is full of big lilac bushes, so I can pick as many as I want and keep fresh flowers inside.  Awesome.

Usually during my quiet mornings, I do a little bit of cleaning around the house.  If I do a little every day, then I don't feel like I have to spend an entire day catching up.  Well, I went to a two-hour yoga class on Monday (yay me!) and ran several errands yesterday, so I felt behind.  I put a couple records on the record player (Temple of the Dog, followed by The Avett Brothers), turned it up real loud, and got to work.

i know it's not much to look at, but my neighbor is letting me use three of her garden beds this year.  
the vegetables are in and i'm excited!

Nathan came home at 11:30.  Our afternoon included pitching and hitting, swinging, watering the garden, eating lunch, reading stories, playing games, cleaning up the playroom, and a trip to Costco.  We started to walk to school to pick up Aaron, but it started to rain, so we ran back home to get the car.  Most days, we spend about an hour at the playground after school, but because of the rain, I decided I'd seize the opportunity and take the boys for haircuts.  Oh I'm so glad I did - those shaggy locks are gone!

At home, I heated up leftovers, and Aaron got ready for baseball.  I try really hard to have leftovers or something really easy for baseball nights.  After dinner, we headed to the game.  Because it was so cold and wet, Nathan actually sat with me and watched the game instead of running around like a crazy over-tired three-year-old.  It was freezing but fun.  Aaron and his team did great and had a blast.

Back home for baths and bedtime.  I go as fast as possible to get Nathan in bed, and so far I've been doing pretty well. Even though baseball makes it a later night, he was still asleep before eight.  Aaron wasn't too far behind.

my nightstand

I cleaned up the kitchen, including the dinner dishes that got left behind in the flurry to get out the door, and now I'm writing a blog post.  When I'm done, I will watch The Daily Show and fold the two loads of laundry I washed today.  Then I will eat whatever chocolate I can find in the house.  (We're out of ice cream - gasp!)  I will end the day in bed with my book, and I'll stay up too late, because I always tend to do that when Kevin's out of town.

It was a good day.

May 14, 2013

Ten Things That Make Me Really Happy

Day 14 from The Challenge.  Now this is a fun topic.  So hard to choose, and I'm sure I'll include things that I've already talked about a ton on this blog.  Sorry in advance, but it is what it is.  Let's see...

1.  The lilacs in my yard.  The smell hits me as soon as I open the door, and they are so beautiful.  My favorite part of May.

2.  Spending time with family.  And best friends.  That's really the best there is.

3.  Getting lost in a good book.

4.  Watching sunsets.  Lake Ontario is my favorite place to watch them, but really, anywhere or anytime you get an opportunity to sit still and watch the sun go down is pretty awesome.

5.  Waking up feeling rested.  (I woke up at 5:30 this morning.  Ready to go.  Weird.)

6.  Enjoying a really good meal.  With good friends.

jam session with my little man

7.  Music.  Listening, playing,'s all good.  Feeds my soul.  Experiencing music live is the best.

8.  Spending time alone.  Quiet time makes me happy and enables me to handle the not-so-quiet times.

9.  Hugs from my boys.  Honestly...there's just nothing better.

10.  The beach.  Taking a walk by myself, sitting and listening to the waves, playing with the boys, eating a lobster roll.  It's hard to have a bad time at the beach.

Ten Words...

picture by Allistair Ann.  
I truly did try to find a picture of myself, but they are few and far between I'm afraid.  I think I may need to set a new goal to have people take more pictures of me!

I'm falling behind in The Challenge.  Let's see if I can catch up.  I'm going to skip a few, because I'm behind and also because the topics just don't speak to me.  (Most embarrassing moment?  Now come on, why would I share that?)

Day #11.  Sell yourself in ten words or less.

Kind.  Open-minded.  Organized.  Calm.  Motivated.  Silly.  Capable.  Savvy.  Loyal.  Thoughtful.

That was harder than I thought it would be.  Not sure I captured me.  If you know me, how did I do?  What did I leave off?

May 10, 2013

Brown Bird - The Messenger

I first heard Brown Bird at the Newport Folk Festival last year.  We sat in the sunshine, listening to the music, and Kevin and I decided that the band playing was pretty awesome.  I loved their album Salt for Salt, and I'm enjoying their latest too, entitled Fits of Reason.  Their music is chill, soulful, and very cool.

May 9, 2013

A Moment...

Day 9 of The Challenge:  A moment of your day.

I captured two, although they are close together and both with my little guy.  Every day, when Nathan comes home from preschool, he picks out books, and we read together on the couch.  It has become tradition and one of my favorite times of the day.  The photo above is of him choosing a superhero story.  

And then there's lunch.  Every day, the little man and I eat lunch at the island in our kitchen.  I ask him what he did at school that morning, and he usually tells me who got into trouble that day and then proceeds to change the subject to a topic of his choosing.  For a long while, it was superheroes.   Today he told me everything he wants for his birthday.  The photo below was taken right after he finished his lunch.  He was not on board with my taking pictures.  

May 8, 2013

Menu of the Week

photos via cooking light and real simple

Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs, Rice
Love grilling season!  I had red onion, yellow peppers, portobello, cherry tomatoes, and chicken for the kebabs.  Easy and good.

Pesto Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage, Bread
This is a great recipe.  It makes a lot, it's super simple, and everyone loves it.  I finished up the last bit of my homemade walnut-pesto and now can't wait to plant my herb barrel so I can make more.  Sooooo good.

Mustard-Maple Salmon, Rice, Roasted Asparagus
An old and popular stand-by.  Love asparagus season too!

Potato, Corn, and Leek Chowder
I knew we were going to get some cooler and rainy days this week, so I thought a soup would hit the spot.  The boys love this one.

Other meals:
Pierogies, Cinnamon Apples, and Broccoli
Pizza with friends

A Piece of Advice...

Day #8 of The Challenge:  A piece of advice you have for others.

I'm taking the easy way out and re-posting this list.  Found via Pinterest of course, and I'm not sure of the original source.   I love it, though, and think it's all pretty good advice.

May 7, 2013

Quote of the Day

Day #4 from The Challenge, which means that yes, I am going out of order and will not even come close to writing them all, but like I pressure.  It's all good.  This topic was to choose a favorite quote and why I love it.  I chose two.

The reason why I love both of them is the same, though.  They make you step outside the mundane, taking the focus off of your normal routine - the tasks that must be done every day and every week - and instead ask you to really live your life.  To express gratitude.  To find passion.  Every day, even the one filled with cleaning and cooking and working and not getting enough sleep, contains beauty and joy.  The key is to find it and keep your focus on that.

May 6, 2013

What Do I Do?

From The Challenge....If you couldn't answer with your job, how would you answer the question 'What do you do'?

I sleep, I wake, I drink water to start every day.
I stretch and exercise and do yoga every chance I get.
I eat.  Mostly healthy stuff but I also end most of my days with a mug of ice cream.
I dress, brush teeth, pack lunch, prepare my boys for the day.
I walk my kids to school.
I hug, as often as they'll let me.  Which, for now, is a lot.
I drink coffee and enjoy silence.
I blog, I talk, I text...I work at keeping in touch.
I clean and tidy and shop and cook.
I plan.  For weekends, vacations, Sunday breakfasts, baseball games, camps, getting together with friends.
I play with my boys.  I watch them play with their friends.
I comfort, discipline, support, teach.  I love.
I sit in the sunshine when it's warm.  I sit by the fireplace when it's cold.
I end every day with a book.
I say thank you.

Weekend Recap

Another awesome weekend.  Actually, I'm going to back up to Thursday night, because that's when the fun really started.  In our school auction several weeks ago, I won a night out at a yoga studio.  I was able to invite a bunch of my friends to join me for a yoga class, followed by wine and refreshments.  Doesn't that sound awesome?  Well, it was!  I was a little nervous about it, because I honestly wasn't sure how many friends I could round up on a weeknight, but there ended up being nine of us, and it was perfect.  We had such a great time, talking and laughing without having to manage the kids at the same time.  Actually, we were having such a good time that I neglected to check my phone.  If I had, I might've noticed that my husband was calling and texting me, wondering why I was so late!  I guess we were having too much fun.  Kevin pointed out later that perhaps it's an indication that I don't go out enough, and I think he's right.  I can't remember the last time I went out with girlfriends.  I need to do that more.  

Saturday involved mostly yard work, prepping the garden beds for planting.  It was fun to get dirty and see progress in the yard.  (Oh!  And have I mentioned we're getting a patio?  The workers are here as I type, laying brick and getting us ready for a summer of being able to eat outside.  Yay!)  We interrupted our yard work to take the boys for ice cream and play frisbee.  That night, we watched the movie The Impossible.  Have you seen it?  It's the true story of a family that survived the tsunami in Thailand.  It will definitely keep your heart pumping, and you will cry.  Even Kevin cried.  Big happy tears.  That is a movie that will stick with me for a while.  

Sunday was a social day.  We started with having friends over to our house for our usual Sunday morning pancake breakfast.  They have three little girls, and the five of our kids had a blast playing together.  We had fun too - winners all around!  We fit in a little more yard work, and then we went over to another friend's house.  Lots of playing and talking and laughing.  An awesome end to a beautiful weekend.  


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