Wednesday, July 17, 2019

What am I even doing?

The other day started off totally normal, like any other darn day.  Some silliness at the pool.
 A trip to DQ.
 And then.  I went to a work party with Ben. 


Can you even?  Because clearly, I could not.

Monday, July 15, 2019

New room/new sport/new skillz

Well, I guess calling it a new room is kind of overkill.  But!  Our friends gave Dorothy their daughter's super cute bedroom decor because their daughter switched room themes.  And the really exciting part is that Dorothy likes it so much she makes her own bed every darn day.  CAN YOU EVEN?

 The boys became their very dorkiest selves and signed up to play Quidditch at the library AND LOVED IT. The librarian told them they can play Quidditch in college (at the rec level, I assume) and they are STOKED.
 Meanwhile Dorothy and I went to story time, but we left in the middle because she was too distracted by the book she was reading, which I love so much.  A chapter book reader!  They are all chapter book readers!  This feels big.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Give me an S!


I cannot get enough of the long lazy days

 The adorable baseball!
 (Which Cooper L-O-V-E-S)
 I can't get enough pool nights
 And trips down the slide.  Do you remember when I wrote this post?  Well, I wish I could go back a couple of years and tell that me she had nothing to worry about.
 Did I mention the baseball?

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Happy Fourth!

 Another holiday, another day to feel EVEN SADDER THAN USUAL.

Not them, obvs.
 I really like holidays, so feeling so iffy about one is a major bummer for me.  I don't want to be the Scrooge.  You know?

So, we put on our patriotic best and headed to Pekin, even though we have been spending most Fourths with my parents, going to our small-town fireworks show.
 Look closely, and note that Ben is wearing not one but 2 pairs of sunglasses.
Also, there were poppers.
 I sat in the way back on the way to the stadium.
 Just think!  If we moved to Pekin, they would be Dragons!
 We sat on the other side of the stadium, which was Harry's idea because he thought it would make me less sad.  It pretty much worked.
 And we continued our trend of being the kind of houseguests who CLASS THE PLACE UP.

It's sometimes just really hard to grasp that this is our new normal.  Even though it's still pretty great.

Monday, July 08, 2019

Working mom perspective

Usually, I am a quantity time mom, meaning that I spend all damn week with my kids, and my weekends are mine for cleaning and shopping and not driving all over the sate for sportsball because that's what my quality time husband does.  But! Since I worked full time the other week, I , too, was a quality time parent.  And I kind of liked it.

Having big kids means that errands are a TON easier than they used to be.

 We even squeezed in a trip to the library.

 And the ice cream store!  Where I broke my fast with a French toast cone.
 I am a YUGE fan of her fuzzy slippers.
 We also had plenty of time to do nothing by the pool.

 IN A 2-PIECE!  Despite my best judgment
Don't get me wrong, I love my days at home,  But!  The weekend as a real working mom was, dare I say, funner than I thought it would be.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Happy summer!

 Could summer be any sweeter?

How can I even complain about this wonderful life I get to lead?  There is always cold beer, for example.
 Pretty flowers
 And all of my people there to enjoy all of the things with me.
Summer is the best, even when it's 97 and humid.  Even when my mosquito bites wake me up in the middle of the night.

Happy summer!

Monday, July 01, 2019

June: What I Read

100 books!  Halfway through the year ad halfway to my gooaal!

17. Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi: Nope.

16. Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by John Gottman: Skip this

15. Home Made Christmas by Yvette Von Boven: Yes,  Delish.  Also, she recommends a bottle of wine per dinner party guest, so we are soul mates

14. The Favorite Daughter by Patti Callahan Henry: Bleh.

13. Fumbled by Alexa Martin:  Meh.

12. Drawing Home by Jamie Brenner: Quick and forgettable

11. You Know You Want This by Kristen Roupenian: Yikes.  These are weird and good stories.

10. Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews: Queen of the beach read indeed.

9. To Night Owl from Dog Fish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer: Darling.

8. Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith: Sweet little YA book

7. The Peacock Emporium by Jojo Moyes:  I WANTED to love this.  I did like it.

6. Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand:  Guilty pleasure for sure.  One story line is TERRIBLE, but I liked the rest.

5. Chronicles of a Radical Hag by Lorna Landvik:  I LOVE Lorna Landvik.  Your Oasis on Flame Lake is one of my top 10 books ever.  Because I love her so much, I really liked this one.  If you are new to Landivk, start with Your Oasis or Patty Jane's House of Curl or Best to Laugh.

4. Hope and Other Punch Lines by Julie Buxbaum: I loved this YA romance, even those it was a little bit cheesy in the very best way,

3. Oksana, Behave! by Maria Kutznetsova:  Liked it a lot-- the narrator has an excellent voice, and you know I am a sucker for those.

2. Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly: Loved this.  And also read the whole thing before I realized it was a prequel to Lilac Girls.  So, that's awesome.

1. City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert: I loved this soooooo much!! What a great summer read.

Friday, June 28, 2019


I am on campus full-time with NO flexibility and ZERO access to my devices all week.

This has been... weird.

I really like what I am doing (so strange to not be the one to set the schedule, but I get it).


A house with 4 kids and 2 full-time parents working actual business hours?  SUCKS.

I am both so thankful that my real life is flexible and also so angry that so many people navigate this family-unfriendly reality everyday. 

 If this were our real life, we would have more routine childcare, which would help for sure.  We would also be used to it, of course.  And at the ages our kids are now,  everything from Sept-May would be easier because they would be in school all day anyway.  But!  I would not be able to volunteer in the classroom every week, or pop over with things they forgot, or keep the house tidy and the food homemade.  Ben and I would never see each other, except maybe a nod over laundry or on the way out the door to some practice or another.  Field trips would be a luxury, etc etc etc.  Why have we as a culture decided this is an OK way to live?

My life has gotten much harder and busier since Ben started working in a less flexible job, but without my own flexibility? I don't know how we would keep our heads above water on a regular basis. 

Here's a metaphor or the week, courtesy of the babysitter who wanted a clementine from the fruit bowl on my kitchen counter and now will probably never eat them again:


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Scenes from a weekend in Pekin

Listen, you guys.  If you are within a few miles of this place (WHAT ABOUT 50? IS 50 A FEW?) you need to go to here.  Not only is it like the only place outside of Disney World where you can get a Pineapple Dole Whip, but alsd, they have this thing called a cookie dough arctic swirl that's a huge styrofoam cup full of cookie dough slathered in sift serve ice cream.  I MEAN.
 Mineral Springs Park, also a must-visit place on our list.
 Cooper loved Toy Story 4 so much that he is making Forky art.
 I recognize by bias here, but trust me when I tell you that my mom's porch is an excellent place to indulge in happy hour.
 A little yard football.
 Dorothy wears one skate and uses baseball bats as balance aids, and I am here for that.
 Loud: a picture
 Such a pretty place to roller skate.