April 29, 2015

The Dominican Republic

We spent three fabulous nights in paradise. It was a very long way to travel for just a few days, but it was totally worth it. The weather was spectacular, the sun was hot, the pools were refreshing, the people were friendly, the beach was gorgeous, the waves were fun, the drinks were plentiful. I even finished my book! 

A few highlights:  
- Reading under one of those cabanas shown above while the boys played in the water
- Riding waves on a boogie board (I hadn't done that in years!)
- Drinking pina coladas and other tropical concoctions
- Dining at a Japanese restaurant (they cooked in front of us, the boys were entertained, and the food was good)
- Enjoying a bottle of champagne in our room while the boys watched a movie (Hey, it was all-inclusive!)
- Watching the boys swim and play in the pools mostly independently, except when we wanted to go in and play too
- Eating at the dessert buffet

The obligatory "walking into the sea" picture

April 28, 2015

What I Did on Monday...

The Dominican Republic is so beautiful. We came home on Sunday and jumped right back into our normal routine; except Kevin had to go to San Francisco this week, so I'm on my own. My first day back looked like this:
  • Did 10 minutes of yoga
  • Took a shower, got dressed and ready for work
  • Put a load of laundry in the washer
  • Woke the boys
  • Made breakfast
  • Made lunches
  • Put the load of laundry in the dryer
  • Took the boys to school
  • Drove into the city for work
  • Worked
  • Loaded my car with donations from a clothing drive I organized
  • Delivered the clothing to a local charity
  • Ate lunch
  • Worked some more
  • Commuted back home
  • Got the boys ready to go to baseball practice
  • Attended baseball practice (helped a bit with drills and then played soccer with Nathan while Aaron practiced with his team)
  • Took the boys to a sporting goods store to pick up Nathan's soccer uniform and ball
  • Bought other necessary baseball/soccer gear, including new cleats for both
  • Had dinner at a pizza shop on the way home
  • Got the boys ready for bed
  • Watched "A Good Wife" while folding laundry
  • Read my book for 15 minutes before falling asleep
That's a full day!

April 22, 2015

Taking Stock - April 2015

Watching:  The Americans. Dark and twisted, but such a great show. Fascinating to see a dramatic show set in the 1980s, too.  Oh and The Imitation Game - have you seen it?  So good. So sad too, though.
Eating:  Asparagus. It's not quite time for asparagus here in New England, but I can't wait, so we've already been eating lots. This past weekend we threw a bunch on the grill - yum.
Loving:  Yoga. I'm in a good rhythm right now, and it feels great, body and mind.
Savoring:  Every sunny day. It's amazing how much I appreciate the warmth of sunshine after enduring this winter.
Listening: To Brandi Carlile's latest album - she's going to be at Newport this year. Also really loving Haunt the House, a relatively recent discovery.
Anticipating: Summer! And all it brings, including visits with my family, who I really do not see enough.
Reading:  Leading the Life You Want.  As I've mentioned, I'm trying to incorporate more non-fiction into my reading list. Self-improvement and all that.
Wanting:  The big crack in my kitchen floor to magically disappear.
Enjoying:  The sounds of baseball from our back yard. I love where we live.
Wondering:  Where my next job assignment will be, and if I will like it, and if it will be manageable, and...
Realizing:  The downside of consulting is the uncertainty.
Feeling: Confident that I am working for the right company and happy that I have the opportunity to work with cool and talented people.
Hoping: Our neighbor will share some of her garden with us again this year. I haven't been able to bring it up yet, and I'm afraid we might not get to have a garden this summer.
Thinking: We can always at least put together a planter garden somewhere - some big pots of tomatoes and carrots and eggplants or something. We can be creative and come up with something.
Noticing:  The house is dirty. We let our housecleaner go a couple months ago. I've been trying - and failing - to keep up with it myself. Time to admit defeat and hire more help.
Laughing:  At my boys. They are a constant source of entertainment.
Wishing:  I had purchased a sun hat a month ago - every one I like is already sold out.  Booo.
Packing:  My new bikini, sunscreen, and a new book. We're going on a trip tomorrow!  Yay!

April 21, 2015

Recently Read

Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides.
This was recommended to me years ago, and I finally picked it up when I saw it at the library. I had no idea what the book was about when I picked it up, and I often like it better that way. This is an epic book, telling the story of three generations of a Greek family, ultimately leading to the story of the main character and narrator, Cal. The family and social history of the story is interesting, from the grandparents in Greece, their love story and journey to America; to the parent's love story and time of social unrest in Detroit; to the journey of self-discovery made by Calliope/Cal. It's a long one, and I admit getting a little impatient during the first two generations, but it's fascinating and definitely worthwhile.

The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money, by Ron Lieber.
I've decided to add more non-fiction to my reading list. There is always room for improvement, in all areas of life. I had seen a couple recommendations of this book, and its topic is definitely one that is top of mind. Kevin and I talk very often about how good our boys have it and how we want to make sure they recognize that. I liked this book - it's a fast read, and although it contains a lot of practical ideas; most of them are shared through example stories, so the reader can decide what may work best for them.  The subtitle is important, since the primary focus of the book is money. I picked up several new ideas (e.g., my boys now have bigger allowances, with contributions going into spend/save/give jars), reinforced thoughts I already had (e.g., allowance is not tied to chores), and started thinking forward about how we might want to handle certain situations in the future (e.g., how much of their college education do we want them to be responsible for?).

The Husband's Secret, by Liane Moriarty.
This was a fast, easy, and entertaining read. I did struggle a little in the first few chapters of the book,
keeping all the characters straight; but after that I flew. This would be a great book for vacation or traveling. I've heard good things about this author's other books as well, so I will definitely pick up more.

April 20, 2015

A Few Things...

I know, I know...I haven't posted here in so long. I am definitely out of practice, and the longer I go without posting here, the harder it is to do for whatever reason. I will find my rhythm again, though. For now, I thought I'd share some of the links I've bookmarked recently. 

Happy Patriot's Day!  Today is the Boston Marathon, Patriot's Day, the unofficial start of Spring in New England, a morning Red Sox game, a vacation day for most...and even though it is cold and rainy today, it's still one of the most beautiful days of the year. 

Sara's on Design Mom!

Exhaustion is not a status symbol.  No it is not. Taking breaks, acknowledging your accomplishments, setting boundaries...these are good things!

What ISIS really wants.  This article made my head hurt, but I do try to read things that make my head hurt from time to time. I may have to go back and re-read this one - it's so difficult to get my head around it all!

How one stupid tweet ruined Justine Sacco's life.  An incredibly important article for our time. When the time comes for my boys to start their internet life, I hope I can make sure they understand the responsibility that comes with it.

A growing divide.  This article made me sad and frustrated. What else can we do to help?

Another post by my cousin Krista, this time reflecting on her own childhood experience with divorce.  It is very similar to my own, and I appreciate her honesty, as always.

This article on parenting cracked me up.  It's so refreshing.

Essential movies your child must see before they turn 13.  I'm so excited to share more of these classics with my kids.

I'm intrigued by this app and may start monitoring my own phone use. I definitely want to do
what this author did and place limits on when and how I use my phone. I am so sensitive to the fact that my boys are always watching me.

An interesting Harvard Business Review article about navigating the tradeoffs in a dual-career marriage.

Meals like this are probably my favorite part of Spring.

April 3, 2015

Let's move on...

source unknown, but this picture makes me happy

Hi! It's been a while, and I've missed this space. It's been a rough couple of weeks, although I don't particularly feel like listing out the reasons why.

My husband comes home at the end of every day and needs to talk. He wants to debrief about his day, especially if it was a difficult one. He needs to hash it out and unload. I am the opposite. I don't like to bring work home, and I mentally shift gears once I leave the office. If I've had a hard day, that's all the more reason for me to leave work behind and focus on other things. This can be an area of contention between us, as sometimes I don't want to listen to his end-of-day dump; and sometimes if I say I had a bad day, he wants me to talk about it! We've learned to compromise over the years and recognize these differences in each other. 

These past few weeks have been difficult for both of us, so there's been a lot of talking and not-talking, but mostly we've just been busy and working way too much. Not much balance. I'm ready to look forward.

And so, we enter April. April! Yay! We survived March. April is my least favorite month of the year, but at least I didn't have to wear gloves this morning. I will probably have my rain boots on every day this week, but that's okay. Rain will eventually wash the snow away (one day!) and bring flowers (I can see the tips of tulips!). We also have a trip planned for the end of the month to look forward to. 

Other things that got me out of my funk: yoga, bright yellow tulips, reigniting after-dinner dance parties, ice cream (my current favorite flavor, especially when paired with this), a brunch with friends, and a new dress that I plan to wear on vacation and all summer long.   


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