Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mudroom ReDo

The construction of our mudroom was finished a few weeks ago, but it took me a bit longer to find the containers I wanted, order them, and get things somewhat organized.

** This was going to be the before photo,
but apparently I didn't take one. Just
imagine a mess of coats and shoes and
sports gear. No organization at all**

I found the hooks for inside the cubbies at Anthropologie. Couldn't decide on a single color, so I went with one of each (I love the look of all four colors so much that I'm thinking about redecorating my whole house around the hooks!). The buckets match the hooks (except Matt's gray buckets and yellow hooks). I'm really happy with the combo of colorful containers and natural wicker baskets. The baskets happen to fit perfectly and are good and sturdy. And still mostly empty... to be filled with junk soon enough.
I'm considering vinyl letters to label the buckets with our names. And I've seen some cute chalkboard labels that I might add to the baskets. We'll see. I also would prefer a more colorful rug, but the waterhog mat we have is just so good for snow and mud. Wish it came in fun colors or prints (when adding the link, I see that there are some brighter colors now. Hmmm....)
The opposite wall is unchanged. Some dirty boots, tennis balls, tennis bag, 2 blue bird hooks for kids backpacks and swimming bags. And a mirror for a quick check (or cringe, depending on the day) as we walk out the door. Behind the interior door is kids' sporting equipment - tennis rackets, lacrosse sticks, etc.

And I just noticed that bright brassy doorknob. Yuck. Going to have Matt change that this week.

Feeling pretty good to have a house project done.

Monday, February 25, 2013

DayBook 2.25.13

Outside my window... Lots of snow around, but hopefully it will be decently warm. I don't want a cold run later!

I am thinking... that I can't believe I have a 9 year old. How did that happen? They say it goes fast, but... wow... She is halfway to being (theoretically) an adult.

I am thankful for... the time I get to spend with my kids. We certainly have our fair share of not-so-great moments, but mostly I really, really love being with them.

From the kitchen... have a hankering for sweet potato soup. Going to get taters today. And roasted chicken. That sounds good. Plus I want to juice all week. Feel like I need extra veggies.
I am wearing... a tennis skirt... ready for my match in a bit.

I am creating... I have the quilt top done for Kate's birthday quilt (her birthday was yesterday, oops. maybe I'll save it for Christmas), was waiting on the backing fabric to arrive, will hopefully baste in the next couple days and start quilting it

I am going... to get up early this week. Doesn't matter how dark. Or cold. Or comfortable my bed is. Going to do it. Yep.

I am reading... gotten a few good ones in. Finished The Expats last week, almost done with Death Comes to Pemberley. Slowly working my way through The Optimistic Child

I am hoping... for some alone time this week.

I am hearing... the cat eating the dog food and the furnace humming (which is on its last leg - no way we can make it through next winter without a new one. Ugh.)

Around the house... oh, oh, oh!! Wait until I post about what I've done in our house. Switched the tv/family room and dining room. Love it. Will try to post photos even though it is far from "done." I'd really like to order a living room rug this week. And we have to have the guys out to move the dining fixture to the new dining room. But I love it! AND I cleaned the basement. How long have I been saying that needs to be done? Matt took the kids to the mountains for a few days last week and left me to it. Decimated those piles. Donated at least 10 boxes of stuff. Ready to do something fun down there.

One of my favorite things... heated ski boots. Best. Thing. Ever.

A few plans for the rest of the week: it's going to be a good week. A bit of our norm: tennis matches, tennis lessons, music class, trampoline class, swim team, swim lessons, etc. A hair cut and hopefully some much needed shopping for me. Kids and I are also going to spend some time in the mountains - finally getting snow here! Not sure when we'll fit in that homeschooling.

Here is a picture I am sharing: Birthday girl and me in the snow yesterday. Best ski day we've had all season. Hoping the snow will keep coming for the next 6 weeks.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Homeschool Moment

Brittany helping Jack this morning.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Sweets for My Sweet

Kate and I came across that saying sometime in the last couple of days. It took her a few moments to get it, but once she did, she thought it was great. I've heard it many times since.

Low key V-Day around here. But nice.

Kids and I made a variation of a favorite cookie (idea from here) for Matt.
Matt had asked for these at Christmas, but, to be completely honest, I don't like them so much. And there are so many other special, yummy cookies to make at Christmas. So I didn't make them. We decided last night that we should make them every Valentine's Day instead. And so a family tradition begins.

I had planned to make something fun for dinner... like heart shaped calzones. But life (or in this case tennis!) happens, and it didn't get done. Indian take out took its place. I think everyone might have been happier with Indian food.
We wrapped up the romantic evening with some table tennis (literally on the dining room table!). Kids are getting better. If we can get the basement cleaned up, we might invest in a ping pong table soon.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Going to try to be better about posting homeschool moments.

This was our archeology "dig" with Miss D a few weeks ago. She used to go on real digs 60ish years ago with her archeologist father and still loves to read about all things archeology & history. Not sure who enjoyed the project more.

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Friday, February 08, 2013

This Makes Me Happy

Warming my fingers on a warm, fresh egg

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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Pirate Night

One of our favorite nights on the ship was pirate night. We dressed up as pirates for dinner and went to the "pirate party" on the deck afterwards (Grandpa Joe, Great Grandma, Jack and I all went back to our rooms pretty quick as the oldest and the youngest pirates were a bit tired!)


Even Great Grandma got in on the pirate action!

Sparring with the waiter

Trouble - with a capital T

Disney Cruise

We went on a Disney Cruise last week! It was my mom, my dad, my grandma, and the four of us. It was magical.


The ship was really beautiful. Our room (we opted for a suite on the concierge floor) was spacious, everything was clean, the entertainment suited kids, the food was yummy, the service was impeccable. There were just SO. MANY. KIDS. Ugh.

I know. I shouldn't be surprised. What did I expect on a Disney Cruise, right? I just didn't imagine quite that many babies and toddlers and preschoolers. I love (love!) babies and toddlers and preschoolers, just not that many all at once in a confined space. Even more annoying to me is all the parents vying for the best spot for there child. The "I don't care if your child can't see, but MY child needs to have the best view" sorta attitude. Blah. I sound like my dad (Love you, Dad!).

Fortunately my kids have pretty much outgrown wanting to visit with the Disney characters. No long lines to have our picture taken with Mickey, Minnie, Tinkerbell, Cinderella, Minnie in her beach outfit, Mickey in his tux, Mickey and Minnie in their pirate outfits (and on and on and on!), thank goodness. Unfortunately, I now have the kid (hint: he's a boy and his name starts with a "J") that likes to punch Chip and Dale on the nose when he sees them. Lovely.

Disney does do a lot right. I was probably most impressed with the hand sanitizing. Getting on and off the ship, before each meal, in and out of the kids' areas, basically all the time. Guess is makes sense... all those kids in a confined space... too bad hand wipes can't keep whining and crying at bay... (am I a crank or what?!?)

Our cruise left out of Galveston on a Saturday. We were at sea Sunday and Monday. In Grand Cayman on Tuesday. Cozumel on Wednesday. At sea Thursday, and back to Galveston Friday morning. Our family stayed in Galveston Friday night (Mardi Gras!) and then went to see Matt's dad and other relatives outside Houston Saturday/Sunday.

Matt had never been on a cruise (an overnight ferry with a sandwich bar is NOT a cruise!), and the only other cruise I've been on was to Alaska almost 20 years ago. It was typical in that we ate. A lot. I really like being active all day and cleaning up for dinner every evening. I wish that was our normal lifestyle. We all had different activities that we enjoyed on the ship. Kate and Ama (my mom) liked the evening shows; Jack liked the kids' lab and the arcade; Grandma, my dad and Jack liked Bingo (we won a $400 jackpot!); Matt liked the morning spin class; I liked sitting on the deck reading!

We did an exciting excursion on Grand Cayman (which I'll blog about once I get the photos downloaded) then only had about an hour to sit on the beach. That was a pretty beach. Could have sat there for a week. We really wanted to go snorkeling or to the big ruins in Cozumel, but neither worked for various reasons. Instead we went on a beach excursion. More on that also after pictures.

So there you have it. Our first family cruise. We had a great time, and now we know what to expect for future cruises. I would definitely like to have more stops, more time in port, less sea time, and possibly a cruise with less of a focus on kids. I've got my sights set on a Mediterranean cruise and/or an Alaskan cruise in the next few years...

Photos to follow soon!

Monday, February 04, 2013


I haven't blogged about running in awhile. Maybe that's because I haven't really been running in awhile...

I ran the Austin Half marathon last February, and I feel like my running has just spiraled down ever since. I can partially blame that on an increase in tennis, partially blame the change in my schedule from homeschooling, and mostly blame my laziness.

But that is all changing with the start of 2013. I'm determined to keep track of my running miles through the whole year. And I'd really like to hit 1000 miles for 2013.

Now there is no way I can keep up my tennis schedule and run 1000 miles. My feet and ankles would not have it. So I've decided to convert my tennis hours to miles to reach that goal. I've always given myself credit for biking and swimming and hiking, so why not tennis also? After doing a little online research (about METS and calories and such), I've decided to give myself 4 miles for every hour of tennis. Seems that is underestimating quite a bit for singles and about right for doubles. Other cross training will be 3 miles on bike = 1 mile run and 1 mile swim = 4 mile run. I think that is all the activities I do (And don't get all picky if you don't agree with my numbers. This isn't supposed to be an exact science. Just a way for me to compare and log my "miles")

Other newish thing with running is that I am training for another half marathon. I think. I started the plan and will see how it goes. Just a local race the beginning of April. Really hoping to stay motivated.

So I started my half marathon "plan" last week while on our cruise. Have you ever run on a treadmill on a boat? I did NOT find it easy. I'm pretty sensitive to motion, and the first treadmill I was on made me feel like puking within seconds of running (walking was fine, just running made me feel sick). The treadmill had a gorgeous view of the ocean, but the boat movement, the visual wave movement plus the treadmill movement did me in. I moved to treadmill with no view and did much better. No puking, but my balance was WAY off. Still managed to get a few runs in on the treadmill. Tried to convince Matt that I was running farther (or at least faster!) because the ship was moving forward in addition to the treadmill moving. Matt didn't buy my physics theory. Something about my mass already moving at the same speed as the ship. Blah!

I also got one run done on the promenade. That would have been my preference for all my runs, but every time I went out to run, part of the deck was closed for cleaning. Next trip.

So after all that nonsense, here is my totals for the month of January... not bad considering I was down with the flu for 10 days plus took a 10 day vacation...

Running - 34.5 miles
Tennis - 10.5 hours = 42 miles
Hike - 3 miles
Swim - .25 = 1 mile (pathetic, but I have my reasons...)
January total: 79.75 miles
2013 YTD total: 79.75

Now off to do an early afternoon run!

Daybook 2.4.13

Outside my window... dark. Love getting up before the sun (as long as I've gone to bed at a decent time)

I am thinking... how nice it is to be home. We were on a cruise this last week. Lots of fun things. Need to find the camera, download photos and blog about it.

I am thankful for... homeschooling so we can have all these adventures. I'm actually really torn on homeschooling right now. We LOVE it, but there is a charter school that also sounds amazing. I put us in the lottery just to see what happens. It will be a big decision if the kids get spots. But trying not to cross that bridge until we get to it.

From the kitchen... no clue what is going on in the kitchen this week. Sipping a chai right now. I have some meat in the freezer that I would like to use up. Maybe French dip sandwiches with sweet potato fries? Probably a soup one night. Lots of juicing this week.

I am wearing... a pair of eggplant colored "PJs" and a grey sweater. The PJs are at least 5 years old and aren't really PJs. They were meant to be workout wear from LLBean. Yoga pants and a matching waffle texture henley hoodie. I was drawn to them because they are made out of organic cotton, and I felt like I *should* buy them to show that there is a market for organic cotton. I must have been the only one, because I don't think I've seen organic cotton in an LLBean catalog since! And I never wore them in public because, um, eggplant workout wear from head to toe just doesn't look all that great. But they've made good PJs and are now on their last leg. I'll wear them the next couple nights, wash them, and put them in the donation pile.

I am creating... I really, really want to get a quilt done for Kate for her birthday. In 20 days. Not looking good.

I am going... to give the hedgehog a bath today. Fun stuff.

I am reading... finished The Talent Code while on the cruise, finished Gone Girl last night (only took me 72 hours to finish... easy fiction is like candy to me! I have to limit myself otherwise I would go crazy and get nothing else done!) Not sure what I'll start today. I'm sure I have some half-read book somewhere that I can re-start.

I am hoping... for a good run and happy feet today. It is my weekend long run that didn't get done because of travel. Sometimes the first run back at altitude can be painful. Plus I have to play a singles tennis match first. And I need to blog about all the running plans.

I am hearing... the washing machine and dryer working overtime on our very dirty vacation clothes. I forget living in a dry climate how yucky clothes get in humidity.

Around the house... oh, such fun things happening around the house! We are having cubbies built in our mudroom (I think just the hooks need to be hung, and we'll be done!), and we took out an old  (old!) cabinet in a nook off the kitchen. That will become my desk area since my office is now the homeschool room. That has a little ways to go, but I will reveal that there is chalkboard paint involved. And I love how it is turning out.

One of my favorite things... chalkboard paint!! I now want to paint the whole house in chalkboard paint!

A few plans for the rest of the week: kids start music lessons today, lots o' tennis, lots o' swimming, lots o' homeschool catch-up, lots o' calls, dentist appointments, couple meetings, hopefully some time with friends, pretty much the normal stuff.

Here is a picture I am sharing: insane amount of Mardi Gras beads

Friday, February 01, 2013

Right Now

Mardi Gras. Galveston. Whew!

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