First Spring

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What’s that? What’s that? What’s that?

I imagine that’s what my seven month old son would say if he could talk. The world must seem so bright and colorful through his eyes. If only we could all appreciate a dandelion, a robin’s egg, or a warm rain the way he does.

What if we could experience the new-ness of Spring again? Would we look at the allergy season the same, or have a newfound respect for the season that’s responsible for the beauty of summer?

As I look at my son’s smiling face, I’m reminded of how much he’s teaching me.

Life’s Little Indulgences 

  

Hump day blues?  Sometimes a little indulgence is all the pick-me-up you need!  A cappuccino in lieu of regular coffee can be just enough to start your day off right.  As a stay-at-home mom of three, I tend to watch my wallet and my calories pretty strictly; the former more than the latter!  Because of this, I enjoy the extras so much more.  

It’s all about balance.  If I drank a milkshake, bought a new pair of shoes, or slept in all the time, it wouldn’t be an indulgence, would it? Go treat yourself to that pedicure so your sandals can make their yearly debut.  I plan on grabbing an iced coffee along the way, and I’m not getting nonfat milk.

5 Tips to Keep the Vacation Mindset

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Ah, vacation; there’s nothing like the feeling when you’re on one. There’s just something about waking up in your hotel room, looking out the balcony at the sunshine, and starting your day. No worries, no schedule, and all the time in the world, is how I prefer my time away from home. With my family’s vacation over a month away, I’ve started getting antsy thinking about everything I need to do to prepare for a week away from routine. What to bring? What to do with the dog? Can I incorporate a history lesson for the kids into the trip? How am I going to keep the kids entertained in the car? It’s overwhelming.

What makes vacation so much better than everyday life? Sure, there’s the view, and the food, and the entertainment. But LIFE can be a vacation; it’s all in our mindset. Here are a few tips to try to keep that in mind:

1.  Try something new! Vacations are filled with new experiences. Tap into that by trying a new restaurant, even if it’s a town away. You just might find somewhere else to explore along your drive.

2. Count your blessings. How many times have you been to a water park and there’s not one beach chair available? No one is sitting on them, but everyone has their towel or water bottle strategically placed so that no one will take their spot. Annoying, right? But one negative isn’t enough to make you forget that you’re at a water park! Focus on what you do have, not what you don’t.

3. Take in the beauty all around you. Whether you live near a beach, the mountains, a cobblestone street, or a roaring metropolitan; beauty is everywhere. Go to a local park and picnic or hike a nature trail. Absorb the outdoors; there’s nothing more pure.

4. Don’t sweat the small stuff. I can’t count how many times I’ve gotten lost on vacation. Taking the wrong exit is pretty much expected. But when you have the beach to look forward to, an extra half an hour on the road is no big deal. Don’t let something minuscule ruin your day.

5. Find time to laugh. Why is it that things are funnier on vacation? They’re really not, we’re just in the memory-making frame of mind. Keep that notion; make memories every single day.

Vacation itself is great, but the feeling that comes with it, is what we remember most.

Blurple…

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Blurple is a thing.  No, really, just look at this years prom dresses and you’ll see what I mean. The way the two colors blend is actually, kind of magical-looking. But more on that later. There were only three simple, teeny, non life-threatening tasks that I set out to do this week: writing/revising, organizing, and cleaning up my backyard. How many did I complete? Zero, nada, zilch.

For some unknown reason, I decided to fight with the crowds and take the kids shopping on Good Friday. Big mistake. Women were out in groves snatching up every pastel-colored blouse and matching accessory they could find to look their best for Easter Sunday. The sunburnt spring break crowd had returned and teenagers filled the food court.

This was also the day that my shy toddler came out of his shell and chased several innocent little bystanders, all while roaring like a dinosaur. It’s a cute gesture really. Though I doubt the little boy that tripped, while running from him, agreed.

Beautiful candy-colored prom dresses were on full display. A department store sign advertised all the pre-prom necessities that every girl needs. Because it’s just not prom without a fancy sweat suit and tank top to wear before the gown goes on. I can only imagine what’ll be a necessity when, and if, my kids go to the prom.

Our trip was interrupted by a curiously colored, bubble-gum filled sucker that took my daughter’s crown off with a single bite. Thanks Blurple.

Until next time, spring break✌️

That Little Push…

Some of the characters in my first book, drawn by my very talented girl.
Some of the characters in my first book, drawn by my very talented girl.

A little over a year ago, my daughter and I had to pick up my husband from the airport. We left way too early, partly because I hate driving through an airport at the last-minute, and partly because I wanted to stop at my favorite pizza place along the way. We took our pie to go and parked to dive in to the saucy goodness. It is all about the sauce.

At her request, I told her a story. This was nothing new; I’ve told my children countless stories of made-up characters on car rides, at bedtime, even when we’re singing aloud and just need a story to go along with our song.

Well, we scarfed our pizza down fairly quickly, Daddy’s flight got delayed, and I was too uncomfortably pregnant to want to shop that day, so I continued the tale. After a few weeks of begging me to continue the story, I decided I’d finally write a book. And that’s how this writing journey began. I can’t say that I’m surprised, writing has always been in the back of my mind. I guess I just needed a little person to give me that extra push to get me started. With three stories under my belt, I feel like I’m learning something new everyday!

Spring Break:  break for whom?

It’s that time of year again, when the winter coats get put away, and toenail polish makes its long-awaited debut.  After surviving a mini vacation (a stay-cay perhaps?), I have three goals in mind for my week away from math and lesson plans:  get the kids’ bedrooms organized, revise my current story, and prep my backyard for the gardening ahead.  I can only hope sunshine makes its way into the regime.

Now, I’m not one of those people that live and breathe order.  I think that for a home to exude comfort, it needs just the right amount of disorder.  However, that doesn’t mean that I want toys strung throughout every nook and cranny of my humble abode.  Fast forward to a few months after many Christmas celebrations, two children’s birthdays, and Valentine’s Day, and you have a recipe for a toy disaster.  Leave it to mom to fix it before it gets out of hand.  I wouldn’t want them swallowed up by a quicksand of American girl doll accessories and ninja turtles.

So, I decided to read my children’s story aloud during the long car rides of our mini-vacation.  Now, I’ve done this on more than one occasion, but only certain chapters at a time, or bits and pieces here and there, for my kids.  Reading it from beginning to end, in only two sittings, made me see so many things differently.  I wish I’d done it months ago!  I’ve revised here and there for a while now, but I needed to hear my words again to increase my motivation.  So there WAS a reason I endured the countless bathroom stops, arguments over the ipad, and enough are we there yet?’s for a lifetime!

My backyard isn’t so much the problem as my lack of gardening expertise!  I’ve only made one attempt at a vegetable garden, and let’s just say, it was a disaster.  I refuse to feed only the rabbits this time.  A few years have passed, our family has grown, and I now have the jewel that is Pinterest.

Now if I can only survive a week with no bedtimes!