Sunday, June 26, 2016

Weekend Review

It has been a full weekend around here. I just wish I had taken more photos!

Kate had a sleepover with friends on Friday evening. They dressed up and modeled (oh, I so remember doing that when I was 12... I have photos somewhere but they are way too embarrassing to ever share!). Jack had a sleepover with a friend at our house. They entertained each other while I got ready for the garage sale.
Pretty girl!
Up early Saturday for our neighborhood garage sale. So many people and so much haggling. I kinda hate it and kinda love it. Always a good time to connect with all our neighbors. We got rid of a ton of stuff, and made over $1K! Now the goal is to not re-accumulate...

I was exhausted after the garage sale, and Matt was working Saturday evening. The kids and I sat around reading and watching TV. It felt so so good to be lazy!

Matt worked Sunday morning, and the rest of us went to a swim birthday party for our friend/neighbor turning 4. I had a tennis drill Sunday afternoon while Jack had a playdate with a friend. Sunday evening we had a family dinner with the same friends/neighbors. I brought a great kale salad (with kale from the garden! Left out the apples but still great) and made a raspberry walnut birthday cake that was as yummy as it was pretty.
Pretty Yummy!
Today is also my friend Michelle's birthday and my parents' 45th wedding anniversary. Special day in many ways.

Hope you had an enjoyable weekend also.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer Goals Review

Since it is now officially summer, I thought it a good time to review my summer goals. I set these just over 3 weeks ago so I am pretty satisfied with my progress. Planning on reviewing again in 2-3 more weeks. Hoping that more frequent reviews will remind me to keep making progress.

  • Maintain Mvelopes - ongoing - so far, so good, although I am behind this week
  • Review midyear finances with Matt - to be done in July
  • Participate in neighborhood garage sale - next weekend! I've got piles and piles in the basement ready to get out
  • Set up backyard hammock - DONE and being enjoyed
  • Plant summer garden - DONE and growing rapidly
  • Plant lavender and rhubarb plants - DONE although I planted the lavender in a different spot than originally planned & I replanted the rhubarb a few times because I couldn't figure out where I wanted it!
  • Trim back lilac bushes - a little. It's a neighbor issue.
  • Plant front porch containers - DONE - looks good
  • Plant around front tree - DONE
  • Plan a second eating are in the back yard - I altered this and got a sectional outdoor couch and coffee table. It looks great, and I'm so happy with it
  • Figure out what to do to deter wasps - we've hung up a few of these traps, and they are definitely catching lots of wasps. It feels like there are fewer roaming the yard. The traps have caught no honeybees (which was my great fear) but they did get a few ladybugs and one butterfly - that was DEVASTATING to me - so we've moved them to an area that doesn't see much butterfly action
  • Clean out the homeschool room and potentially set up as a sitting room - DONE - literally moved everything out of the homeschool room and only put back what we wanted/needed. Feels so much lighter. Moved a couple chairs to see how I like it as a sitting room.
  • Plant window box flowers - this might get put off until next summer
  • Learn to use the new grill/smoker - not yet, still solely Matt's territory
  • 2016 Reading Challenge - so far this year, I've read 43 books out of goal of 60 books 
  • Complete 3 quilts this summer - I have 3 quilt tops done that need to be basted and quilted, and another top in progress; need to make time to figure out my new sewing machine
  • Work on daily routines - nope
  • Complete Upstream Field Guide class - nope
  • Sign up for my goat cheese making class - nope, but I looked up the phone number
  • Blog more - a bit better?
  • Plan 1:1 dates with kids at least every other week - I have not been intentional with this, but it has worked out that I've had some good alone time with each
  • Don't go insane driving them everywhere they need to be all summer - FAIL! :) But we scheduled most of our busyness in the first couple weeks of June. Things slow down a bit from here (in a good, intentional way), although I'm still driving to swim practice twice a day. Even though it is less than 10 minutes to the pool, the drive is already getting old.
  • Join library summer reading program - DONE - Jack has been good about tracking his books, but I think Kate is feeling that the program (despite being geared for teens) is below her

  • Bake bread at least weekly - no, but I'm going to mix up some dough tomorrow
  • Make a list of favorite summer meals - I've thought about it, and I've been going through old cookbooks
  • Maintain weekly Pilates class - so far, so good. Thinking I want to add a second class.
  • Try a new yoga class - not yet
  • Maintain 2x/week bootcamp workout - I've run hot & cold with going. 6am is just so early!
  • Choose, train and run a 5K - nope, but I've been running more regularly
  • Do the 30 Day Green Smoothing challenge - starts July 1
  • Make and complete summer hiking bucket list - Made the list, but we haven't made much progress on it. Kate's morning swim practice and Jack's evening swim practice take up prime hiking time. Might have to adjust this goal.
  • Make and complete summer restaurant bucket list - Made this list and have been proactive about trying some new restaurants. However, I think we would have to eat out twice a day all summer to actually cross off all the places I put on the list! But the real goal is to get out and try some new places.
  • Make and complete summer outing bucket list - Made the list and making an effort to get some things done. Again, the first few weeks of June are the busiest of our summer, so we'll make more progress on the bucket list in the coming months.
  • Go camping - we camped at the Meadowgrass Music Festival, but I'm not sure I want to count that.

Monday, June 20, 2016

DayBook 6.20.16 - First Day of Summer!

Outside my window... sitting outside on my front porch where it stays cool even on hot days. My front porch is making me so happy lately with my little bistro set, my colorful throw pillows, a swinging egg chair, and my pretty planted pots. There is a bit of breeze, and the dogs are relaxing in the shade. 

I am hearing... just a few cars here and there and birds all over.

I am thinking... that I really *want* to participate in the quilting Row By Row, but that the last thing I need is something else to be working on.

I am thankful for... for ubreakifix and the new glass they put on my smashed iPhone

From the kitchen... not sure what we are going to eat this week. Definitely salads with greens from the garden. I think I'll roast a couple chickens. Probably eat a lot of popsicles!

I a wearing... a white tennis skirt and a long sleeved neon peachy top. No sense changing until a take shower. Just not sure when I'm going to do that... first have to decide if I'm taking Jack & friend to the pool.

I am creating... not a lot. I need some creative time.

I am going... to watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones sometime today. Didn't watch last night, and I'm having to stay away from all the news stories!

I am reading... The Nightingale (which I was absolutely not going to read but now I am) but it is due back at the library in a few days & I won't finish before then. I also have and might switch to When Breath Becomes Air because there is a longer wait for it.  Then I'll go back to The Nightingale.

I am hoping... for rain this afternoon!

Around the house... my kitchen is a disaster at this moment, and I'm doing my best to ignore it. Starting to move my garage sale piles up from the basement to the front porch. Can't wait for everything to be GONE! Less than a week!

In the garden... everything is looking really good as long as it gets water. Lettuce is going crazy. This morning I trained the beans to climb the side of the chicken coop. The hens & chicks I planted are doing great. I thought I'd lose a few, but even the pathetic looking ones are getting new middle growth. Weeds are also thriving. I've been using Avenger Weed Killer with good success (I order it through Home Depot free store delivery)

In the homeschool room... ugh, no. Too hot!

How I am exercising... had Pilates early this morning. Think I'll schedule a private lesson. Played fun doubles today and have a USTA tennis match later in the week. Bound and determined to make it to bootcamp twice this week. Running a few times this week. I decided just yesterday to run a 1/4 marathon (6.5 miles) in September. Good to have a goal.

A few plans for the week... life quiets down a bit this week; Kate is at swim camp all week, I had a massage this morning, a few playdates set up with friends, normal swim practice and tutoring for Jack plus he gets his bottom braces (blah!), a little tennis for me, beach volleyball for Kate, and then the big garage sale this weekend!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Weekend Review

If I can turn blogging into a routine, I'll often blog more. So I am going to try to post a weekend review on Sunday nights. Let's see how it goes!

Matt worked late Friday evening, so after Jack's swim practice, I took the kids to Josh & John's for ice cream (and called it dinner!). We ate it at a local pond while watching bunches of goslings and a newly hatched set of ducklings. So cute.

Saturday morning we escaped to our place in the mountains. There is always a lot of relaxing downtime up there, but we managed to fit in a few outings. We took a Saturday afternoon hike to Lily Pad Lake with the dogs,
See Tripper?
and Saturday night we went to The Speakeasy to watch Finding Dory. Big debate in our family whether it is better than Finding Nemo - adults like the original, kids like the new.

We also took a family mountain bike ride on Sunday. The boys loved the ride, the girls tolerated it (barely!). The post-ride smoothies at LoLo Juice soothed us before making the trek home.
Jack fixing his bike
How could we not love this?!?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Day in My Summer Life

6am Alarm goes off, hit snooze
6:15 Alarm goes off again, text friend about running this morning, get up, put on running clothes, brush teeth, etc.
6:30 Go downstairs, turn on audiobook (The Dog Stars - really enjoying it but I like apocalyptic novels), mix batter for a blueberry lemon oven pancake, pull out some frozen monster cookie dough balls to defrost
7am Leave for run with my friend/neighbor
8:10 Back from run, turn on big oven for puff pancake, turn on toaster oven for cookies, get kids moving, pack a lunch for Kate, put cookies and pancake in oven, ask kids to feed dogs/chickens and empty the dishwasher, make bed, change into tennis clothes
8:35 Eat breakfast
8:45 Leave with Kate for swim practice
9am Drop Kate off at the Olympic Training Center, drive home listening to my audiobook
9:10 Arrive home, eat another serving of breakfast, gather tennis stuff
9:20 Leave to take Jack to his Lego stop motion movie class
9:30 Arrive at tennis courts, see that they are locked, call friend to change courts, drive to new court, chat with pickle ball players just leaving
9:45 Play singles with friend
11:20 Drive downtown to meet Kate & friends at Uncle Wilbur and deliver the lunch that Kate forgot
11:35 Pick up Jack from his class (late!)
11:40 Arrive home, check on chickens (Kate said one of the chicks didn't look so well this morning, but she seems fine now), pull a few weeds and cover compost (looks like the raccoons got in it last night!) before going inside, eat the rest of the blueberry lemon oven pancake (it is so good - I should post the recipe), make a cup of tea, read a bit of news online (some of today's local news is related to Matt's job), read/answer a few emails, talk to Matt, tidy up the kitchen, sort the mail, talk tennis on the phone with friend/team captain
1:30PM Hang new front door wreath, water front porch pots, start planting remainder of succulents that were given to me
1:35 Neighbor stops by with her dog, let dogs play, chat about gardening
1:45 Kate brought home by friends, visit with them for a bit
2:15 Text Jack's friend's mom about getting together to play this afternoon, finish planting succulents, notice Virginia creeper has taken over behind the garage, attack that mess of invasive weed
2:45 Drop iPhone on paver and shatter the face. Really wanted to wait for the new iPhone 7 to come out before getting a new phone. Guess not. Argh. Finish disposing of a bunch of the Virginia creeper (hate that stuff!)
3PM Take a shower
3:30 Start a load of laundry, make a tea, chat with Matt on the phone
3:45 Take a nap/rest on the hammock - listen to my audiobook while kids & animals rotate through swinging with me
4:30 Send Jack off on his bike to meet friends at the Tastee Freeze
4:35 Send Kate off on her bike to a friend's house, get back in the hammock to extend my rest (!!)
5:00PM Finish audiobook, see UPS drop off packages, realize it is my new bistro set, assemble one of the chairs
5:15 Jack arrives home with two friends
5:30 Kate arrives home from her friend's house
5:40 Start pulling out dinner, realize that I forgot to pick up my CSA share, rush out to get that
5:50 Pick up my CSA share plus a friend/neighbor's share - garlic scapes, spinach, beets, romaine, radishes, thyme, quinoa plus honey & cheddar (I opted into the honey & cheese CSA); quickly drive home
6PM Realize that what I pulled out of the freezer yesterday thinking it was a marinated flank steak is actually one of Matt's briskets. Argh. Quickly change dinner plans. Start browning ground bison and put water on to boil for a spaghetti dinner; take out recycling, unload & start prepping CSA veggies
6:15 Take beet greens and old lettuce out to chickens, gather two eggs
6:20 Pull out trays in dehydrator, start cutting garlic scapes to dry, chat briefly with friend/neighbor stopping by to pick up her CSA share
6:30 Call kids to eat dinner, send Jack's friends home, gobble a little spaghetti
6:40 Leave to take Kate to dryland strength training
7PM Drop Kate off and go to Costco to pick up a few things, chat with an acquaintance that I run into
7:25 Done at Costco and feeling bored, walk around Steinmart, find nothing and feel a bit overwhelmed by the masses of "stuff," drive over to park & wait for Kate, walk around the strip shopping center a bit
7:50 Watch sunset over the mountains
8PM Sit outside on bench reading while waiting for Kate to finish up
8:15 Drive home with Kate, unload Costco purchases, feed Jack a second dinner,
8:30 Send kids up to get ready for bed & read, finish putting together bistro set & clean up
9PM Tidy up the house, clean up dinner in kitchen, move laundry from washer to dryer, say goodnight to both kids, surf the internet for a little news, call Matt to find out when he might be home
9:45 Head upstairs to get ready for bed, change, brush teeth, sneak in to kiss my sleeping girl, snuggle with the boy who has climbed in my bed to fall asleep, read a couple chapters of a novel, turn off the light, and fall almost instantly to sleep!

Monday, June 13, 2016

DayBook 6.13.16

Outside my window... I am sitting at the dining table on our back porch. Table umbrella up casting a shadow and a red glow on me. Clouds are building in the mountains. I think we are under a tornado watch. Difficult to believe with the sun and clear sky straight above.

I am hearing... dim highway noise, a plane flying over, the neighbors water fountain, birds from all directions.

I am thinking... that I want to do a weekend trip this summer. I just don't know when. Or where.

I am thankful for... for YouTube! Learning how to use my new sewing machine.

From the kitchen... yesterday I made those banana muffins I mentioned last week. A few dozen in the freezer and a few on the counter. I made a double batch of monster cookies this morning. Baked a dozen and am freezing the rest of the dough. Trying not to munch on it too much. Made our favorite Greek salad pasta with some grilled chicken for dinner last night. No idea what I want to make for tonight.  Maybe BLTs with baby greens thinned from the garden. If so, I need to go to the store for a good heirloom tomato!

I am wearing... boyfriend jeans with a hole in the knee, and flowered lace cami & a white t-shirt. Comfy yet presentable.

I am creating... a few quilts. I have 2 tops that need basting and quilting. Not doing anything fancy so it should go quickly. I want to have a pile of quilts to hand bind on our road trip this summer.

I am going... to get up into the mountains soon. I haven't been in the high country for months. I need some thin air!

I am reading... The Dog Stars. Just started. Really enjoying it as so far it taking place in Colorado and mentions places I know. Finished listening to The Hummingbird's Daughter. Loved it. The author is the narrator and does a superb job.

I am hoping... for an early bedtime tonight.

Around the house... decluttering slowed down the last week as family life picked back up. Our new outdoor couch arrived, and I must admit it looks great on our back porch. Want to hang string lights over the porch.

In the garden... beans are up, lettuce is going wild. Thinned a little this morning as a treat for the chickens. Rainbow chard is looking a little sad - almost like it has gotten too much water?? Hoping it recovers with little intervention. A friend brought me 3 huge buckets of succulents (mostly hens & chicks) that I planted around the hot tub and other random places around the yard. Some are looking well, others not. Will be interesting to see where they thrive.

In the homeschool room... nada this week, other than our routine reading.

How I am exercising... had 6am Pilates this morning. Planning on 6am bootcamp tomorrow and Thursday. Ran twice this weekend and hoping for a few runs this week. I'm finally feeling over that back-at-it hump where running isn't quite as miserable.

A few plans for the week... Kate comes home from her Phoenix travel swim meet (gosh I've missed her!), Jack is doing a Lego stop motion class, I have just one tennis match (but possibly singles - ugh), swim practice for both kids, beach volleyball for Kate

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

DayBook 5.7.16

Outside my window... I am sitting on my front porch enjoying the sun coming up. I love my neighborhood. There is so much activity even in the early morning. Walkers, runners, bikers.

I am hearing... squirrels chattering away at Tripper, birds singing from all directions on my tree lined street, 

I am thinking... about the driver at Costco yesterday who wanted my parking spot. She waited with her turn signal on while I loaded my purchases into the car. This wouldn't be that odd except that there were plenty of empty spots. The spots on either side of me were empty as were multiple spots across from my car. Only thing I can think of is that she loves winking tree (I can't find my old picture of my favorite tree. I'll take another.) as much as I do.

I am thankful for... this big oaf of a dog sitting next to me. Even if he smells bad and needs a bath.

From the kitchen... not so much lately. Matt was working out of town last night, so I just made the kids their favorite dirty rice. I did bake some giant cowboy cookies last night (I'm eating one for breakfast right now!), and I *need* to make some banana muffins - I have a whole bunch turning brown.

I am wearing... athletic pants, a tank top (that I slept in), and my Patagonia better sweater jacket (I just remembered I dreamed about this jacket last night. Weird.)

I am creating... not much. See around the house. But I did treat myself to a new sewing machine. She's supposed to be speedy for piecing. Can't wait to try her out.

I am going... to get my first CSA box this week. I'm doing a local honey and cheese share also. Excited about that.

I am reading... some of the same. Haven't made the time to sit and read the last few weeks. I did listen to both Mr. Churchill's Secretary (disappointing because I thought it was historical fiction based on a true story because I didn't read the summary - oh, well - it was an easy listen to pass the time cleaning) and Still Alice while I worked on the house over the weekend. I really want to finish Untangled before I have to return it to the library. Still reading The Gazebo - but just one short chapter a night. Trying to get into The Hummingbird's Daughter but it's slow going right now.

I am hoping... that I'm not missing too many texts. I know of a few times this last week where someone sent a text that I didn't receive. Problem is that I don't know if I'm not getting one! I think I need a new phone...

Around the house... Whoa! I've been working so hard on the house. With the whole family gone over the weekend, I completely cleaned out the homeschool room, the pantry, multiple kitchen cabinets, a few corners in the living & dining rooms, and my sewing room. I literally took *everything* out of each room/cabinet, cleaned, rearranged furniture, sorted, and carefully curated. Hoping to do this to most of the house over the next few weeks.

In the garden... watering and patiently watching things grow. I need to thin the lettuce (& eat the baby greens!). I have a few lavender plants that I need to put in. Probably today. I am also dreaming up plans for our side yard. I think I want to make it a meditation path/garden. Hmmmm.... may be a project for next summer!

In the homeschool room... not much work being done this week. Next week we'll do some projects and outings.

How I'm exercising... I *should* be at bootcamp this morning but instead I'm writing. Needed a quiet morning. I was thinking I'd run later this morning, but then I remembered I have to wait for a delivery. If it's really hot later, I'll just take Tripper for a long walk.

One of my favorite things... early mornings.

A few plans for the week... it's a full week for the kids, thus a full week for me! Jack is doing a mountain biking camp with a friend; Kate leaves for her first solo travel swim meet (yikes - I can't believe I'm putting my baby on a plane!); expecting a few big deliveries; I have tennis, bootcamp, a haircut, yoga.