Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weekend round-up

1. After three days of being convinced that my kids were coming down with something because that could be the only acceptable justification for their record number of crying jags and temper tantrums, they both appear to be perfectly healthy and I am the one who is sick.

2. Said children have started a neighborhood extortion racket... I mean, a neighborhood business where they volunteer to pull up weeds in exchange for ever increasing amounts of money. They are doing this with their friend Brooke who has decided that with the proceeds, they are going to take the families on a cruise vacation.

3. Today is September 28th. Today I finished my "Week in the Life" album recording a week in our lives from March 2007 - an album I began at CKU in April 2007. I am telling myself this is part of my new "focus" and I suppose there is something to be said for to not allowing projects to sit unfinished for years at a time.

4. Perhaps relatedly, (and I really do think it is), I am going to take Ali Edwards up on her challenge and do another Week in the Life album this week. I hope it will give me some perspective and get me out of this funk. When I took the pictures for the original album, I hated them. I thought they were mundane and my life was "small." Looking back only a year and half later, I love what I recorded. I love seeing those little details. I love realizing that my husband played board games with the kids after work almost every night. I love looking at the little pictures they drew at school and I even love realizing that I ate peanut butter toast for breakfast every single day that week.

5. My husband's response while looking at this album was a little bit different. He loved it but said that it turns out, he is not a big part of our lives during the week. And he said it reminded him of when we ate food. You see, when we returned from vacation, rather than return to our pre-vacation grocery budget, he said he didn't notice the difference so I might as well continue to save the money and make the quick, light meals I prepared during the summer. I guess looking at a picture of pot roast in the album made him realize that he is tired of grilled cheese.

6. Which is a little bit unfair since I made Pioneer Woman's (really Pastor Ryan's) version of Pasta Carbonara last night. With that much fat in one recipe, I think it has to count as real food.

7. The polls are starting to make me feel over-confident about my candidate's chances this fall. I know that's not a good frame of mind. But I can't help it.

8. Justin is almost finished painting our house. The first coat is complete and a good portion of the second coat is complete. I suspect the trim will have to wait until spring but all in all, I am thrilled and proud of him that he got it all done in the very little spare time he had over the summer.

9. I think SNL is going to be abysmal when Amy Poehler leaves in a few weeks.

10. In addition to the money they are extorting, um, I mean earning, Grace just walked in with a piece of pie. Now they are feeding them baked goods. Maybe they think it will get them out of their yard.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Posts without pictures are boring

And I'm sorry about that. It's on my list to fix next week. I have lots of layouts and lots of photos, just not organized and ready to get up here.

My word for the year was "focus". I haven't focused on all of the things that were on my list for the year. In fact, my list of resolutions remains largely undone and mostly forgotten. But the word... well, I just changed what I was "focusing" on. The biggest item, of course, has been on getting healthy and losing weight. I am thrilled to report that I have consistently gone to the gym at least three times a week since the beginning of the summer. I am very close to completing the Couch to 5 K training program. And as of this morning, I have lost 20 pounds. I still have a long way to go but this is one of things I have been "focusing" on and it has worked. Two other areas have been our personal finances (and sticking to our budget) and buying and eating in an environmentally and socially conscious way. As a family, we have made some significant changes this year and we have been able to stick to it.

I was thinking about this today, not because I am overly thrilled with how the last few months have gone, but because of things I am not so happy with. I had another major change in my life starting at the beginning of the month - Grace transferred to a pre-K program near our house rather than the pre-school she had been attending nearly an hour away. I made that drive back and forth, sometimes twice a day, for 4 years. I suppose I looked at this change as an opportunity; I would have lots more free time and be able to get so much more accomplished. But the reality has been that I spend most of her time at school at the gym - a routine I started in the summer, but which has been a bit of mental challenge during the time that used to be "my" free time during the school year.

And rather than adjust to it and figure out how to make this new schedule work, I have been drifting. I seem to end most days not sure what I did and with nothing concrete accomplished to justify the hours spent at home. The housework is piling up, I'm not finding much time to be creative and I generally just feel very directionless. I feel pulled in so many different ways and I'm not sure what to do so often I just end up doing nothing. Then I feel guilty because this is not the reason we have sacrificed all of these years for me to stay home with the kids and put my career on the back burner.

I guess I'm writing this out tonight because after a month of feeling this way, I feel like it's time to add some additional "focus" to my life and see if I can't find some direction while continuing the very positive changes made in other areas. Accountability seems to be a huge thing for me so if I can work that into the plan somehow, it can only help!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I think that coincidence is a weird thing

For the last 2 days I have been composing a blog post in my head about friendship bracelets I used to make. It was my first foray into anything crafty and I was darn good at it. I wove these elaborate, beautiful bracelets in highschool strictly for the purposes of selling them at Grateful Dead concerts. Where I came to a block in remembering this story is whether or not I ever sold any. I honestly don't remember. Now that is not because I was in a drug induced haze back then, I was, for the most part, a very good girl, but still, I can't remember ever selling a single bracelet. And I made hundreds of them. I wonder what happened to them. I went to a lot of Grateful Dead concerts over the years. And I also don't remember why this idea for a post popped into my head the other day, but memory is a weird thing sometimes.

It's all the more weird because the Obama campaign just announced that the surviving members of the Dead are reuniting for a concert at Penn State next month. Obama. Grateful Dead. Penn State. It's a trifecta. I'm going to go look in my mom's attic to see if those bracelets are up there. Do you think anyone wears friendship bracelets these days?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

10 Things I Know

1. The all-you-care-to-eat buffet at the all day scrapbooking crop I went to this weekend was NOT worth the 6 meals of lettuce I have had to eat since then. Parsley potatoes are never really that good.

2. The piece of chocolate peanut butter cake I ate on Saturday night was, however, worth it.

3. I still do not know how to field dress a moose.

4. I have not taken a single picture at any of my kids' sporting events this fall.

5. My kids were in too many activities. Charlie had to quit karate.

6. He decided to quit karate at just the right time since he fell and split his arm open this weekend and wouldn't have been able to do karate for several weeks anyway.

7. That kid bought 4 books at the book fair today. He's read 2 of them so far since he got off the bus.

8. Grace had a bad day. She had a bad day. Her day was bad. Grace had a terrible, very bad, no good, very day. Bad. Bad. Bad. Bad. Any questions? Bad.

9. I do not believe that Pennsylvania is even in the polls and I don't care what Rasmussen says.

10. It is not a good thing to block the cat door to the basement where the litter box is located.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

This has never happened before

but I am completely burned out on politics. Yesterday, I thought it was just because I was tired. But I'm still feeling it today. Just completely exhausted with the rank stupidity and hypocrisy from the supporters on each side, from the pundits, from the chattering class. (As an aside, I tried to look up the definition of rank stupidity and came up empty. It still sounds like what I think I want to say. I hope.) Exhausted probably isn't strong enough a word. Disgusted. I like to think McCain and Obama would be embarassed by most of the things their supporters say to further their campaigns. If Sarah Palin has accomplished anything in her life, it is that she managed to bring out the absolute worst qualities of both her supporters and detractors. Hypocrisy seems to be a bi-partisan quality these days.

How about them Steelers?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Update? Who me?

This morning I finally re-achieved my pre-vacation weight so I guess that means it's time to update. Vacations are great for everything except dieting. This picture was the view from our balcony. I wish I was standing there right now.

I've been riveted by the political developments of the last two weeks so most of my computer time has been spent reading message boards and political sites. It seems odd that 8 weeks out we're going to enter a calmer period but it feels that way for me. It's almost like all the cards have been dealt, the bets made and now we just have to wait for everyone to show their hand.

The kids have started back to school but in no way have we established a routine yet. It's probably like that every year, it takes time to find the right pattern but it's exhausting when it's happening. Charlie's teacher is... interesting. First of all, he adores her, so that's a good thing. Next, she definitely seems to be teaching them, which is good, I'm just not sure if she's teaching them from the curriculum. Which, considering my feelings about NCLB, is also probably a good thing. So far he's learned all about feng shui, they planted bamboo, and today they are going to learn about economics. Economics in 2nd grade. Who knew? He's had some regular homework so I know she's fitting in all in there.

I am still sticking to the diet and the gym. I realized this morning that I am bored with running though. My interest in staying on the treadmill wanes much faster than my ability to run. It could be because they've got the Price is Right on tv but I think I've got to come up with a solution pretty quickly or else I'm likely to just quit altogether.