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Tuesday Thoughts & Things


- I will forever love American Idol, but The Voice is growing on me. Really growing on me. I love the judge line up this year! Our whole family is enjoying watching it together... although I'm not sure Blake is really focusing; after one really good performance he turned to me and said, "Mom, I really want to ride a cow... or a sheep."


- Our grapes are finally ripe and ready to harvest for juicing so I unearthed all my canning jars & bottles yesterday, washed and prepared them, and then just as I was about to head outside to start cutting and filling my buckets with grapes, it started to rain. Obviously I took a nap instead.

- My cooking mojo is back! That is, my desire to make home cooked meals for my family. My skill however, seems a little shaky. Last night I overcooked the chicken breasts so badly that Russ and I could only chew our way through half of them before giving up and tossing them in the garbage. (The kids didn't seem to notice, God bless them.)

So what I'm saying is, life seems to have returned to normal pretty quickly ;)

{Don't be alarmed by the giant bow eating my face... it's just my apron.}

Hey, Monday!


I love a fresh new week! Especially when I'm finally back to my regular work schedule (which only includes one job) and feel all, "FREEEEEEDOM!" inside! Guys, I even made plum sauce this weekend. AND CLEANED.

It was a fun weekend. Russ and Cooper were gone hunting so it was just me, Kendall and Blake, and this meant no cooking, shakes from Big Burger, a girls-only game night, and a sleepover at Grandmas! (It also meant I had no chair for Blake's Saturday morning soccer game because Russ took them all, along with my umbrella. It was a sad, soggy Saturday morning, folks.)

(Russell would probably like me to clarify that he did not "pack" my umbrella for hunting, it was just in the vehicle that he took.)

When the boys returned yesterday afternoon my joy at seeing them again was only slightly overtaken with horror at the sight of Cooper's face:
Poor kid was stung on the face three times by a yellow jacket out in the woods, and this is what it looked like by DAY 3. All I wanted to do was hold and cuddle him! (And stare at him. Literally, I can not stop staring... he looks soooo funny.)

Apparently it didn't phase him too much though, or diminish the fun of the trip in his eyes, so we had a fun family evening catching up and hearing their camp tales & stories. 

And now that I'm only working outside the home two days a week again, I may just feel magnanimous enough to do their camp laundry! 

It's going to be a good week :)

What I Wore Wednesday


No. 1
thrifted Lush top, Target jeans, Ross sandals

pretty new bracelet from a friend for my birthday

No. 2 
Old Navy cardigan, Loft top, Big Star jeans, Payless sandals

No. 3 
TJ Maxx top, Old Navy cardigan, American Eagle jeans, Target sandals

No. 4 
Old Navy cardigan, Target top, Silver jeans, Target sandals

No. 5 
Maurice's top, Big Star jeans, Target flats

I think this may be the first time I wore jeans all week since last winter! 
(Note to self: buy more jeans for this winter...)

Happy Wednesday!

pleated poppy

Monday Confessional


Last Friday night I attended a women's event at our church that was a fun kick off to the new year of women's bible study starting this week. Even though I'd had a super full week (read:chaotic) and was pretty tired by the time 7pm rolled around, I was still excited to go, and had a wonderful time. (Dessert was involved, woot woot!)

I tried not to stay too long chatting afterwards so I could come home and watch a movie with my husband, so quite a handful of ladies were still there when I left... which is unfortunate because they all became witnesses to what happened next.

Which is that no sooner had I pulled into the driveway back home, when Beth, one of the event coordinators, called and asked if I'd remembered that I'd brought my son Blake with me? And that he was still in the babysitting room waiting to be picked up?


I'd forgotten that completely.

I will not lie, the first words out of my mouth were: "Beth! Don't tell ANYONE!", as I swerved into a u-turn and zipped back towards our church. But she laughingly replied, "It's too late! I went around asking everyone where you were and no one could find you!"

And thus, it was with great shame and embarrassment that I returned to pick up my son, with many a laughing friend waiting to tease me in the church foyer (most especially the one who I had just told, not a half hour earlier, that I had never left a child behind before! Of ALL the things to happen!!)

Someone (Ahem... Carolyn!) even put a picture on facebook:
{Captioned: "Who is this child. .. he sure is cute!"}

(Don't you all wish you had kind and compassionate friends like me? ;)

So yeah. It's gonna take a while to live this one down, folks.

Awkward and Awesome Thursday


- When you're given beautiful intertwining bracelets for your birthday and after wearing them for the first time you realize you can't get them off your wrist so you sleep in them and try again in the morning. #fatfistedproblems.

- When every friend, family member, long-lost-acquaintance, and brother's-neighbor's-aunt gives you chocolate for your birthday, and you stash it away thinking it will last you the WHOLE YEAR, and then two weeks later you have two candy bars left and it dawns on you that you're a sad, sad, chocolate-eating fool.

-  When you realize that your thirteen-year-old daughter has more emotional self-control than you when it comes to hearing bad news from a medical professional. Case in point: Kendall was recently (and very bluntly) told some disheartening news that came as quite the shock to her by her eye doctor, and was clearly thrown off her rocker and wanted to cry. But she held it in, and didn't break down until the car ride home. And then after a good half hour cry was okay and has been fine ever since.

As opposed to me, who upon hearing the disheartening news three years ago that my root canal had cracked and I'd need to have my front tooth pulled out, burst into tears, cried the whole rest of the appointment, the whole half hour drive home, AND for the next two hours straight while curled up in a ball on the bed. (An especially awkward time for my husband, who's only arsenal of comfort was: "it's not like it's cancer, babe", to which I responded: "I'LL HAVE TO WEAR A FAKE TOOTH!")

- When you're in need of firewood for winter and within the week two friends call offering free wood if you'll come cut it up and remove it, and it ends up being over four cords worth, enough for almost the whole winter. Yeah!!
- Also awesome: my hardworking STUD of a husband.

And now for a special "Awkard AND Awesome?":
- When your eleven-year-old comes home from school all jazzed up excited because he has started a loan business for kids in his class that deals solely with the "fake" money they earn in class for rewards, and he's charging interest, and has already made "$1000" class bucks that he's going to put towards a test freebie (getting to skip a test), and is all, "isn't that awesome and cool, Mom?"

And you're all: MY SON IS A LOAN SHARK.

What I Wore Wednesday


No. 1
Old Navy cardigan, Target blouse, Silver jeans, Rue 21 sandals (which I proceeded to wear almost the entire rest of the week)

No. 2 
Old Navy cardigan, Ross dress, Walmart necklace ($5, yo) Rue 21 sandals (day 2)

No. 3
Target dress, Ross scarf, Rue 21 sandals (day: "but they go with everything!")

No. 4 
Maurice's top, Target necklace, Caslon pants, different shoes! (Famous Footwear)

No. 5 
Clothes swap top, Banana Republic jeans, Target sandals

No. 6 
Liz Claiborne thrifted blouse, Banana Republic jeans, Rue 21 sandals (day: "I missed you guys")

Sorry for the nonsense, it's late (Tues night) and I'm running on fumes here. 
Thanks for visiting!

pleated poppy

End of the Weekend Photo Dump


Snapshots from the cell phone...

Saturday morning soccer has begun. I was lamenting the fact that we won't be able to sleep in until November when my sister kindly reminded me that straight after soccer is Saturday morning basketball... so actually no more sleeping in till January. Then I went into a depression.

Jana and I were out shopping last Saturday when we ran into our favorite mother/daughter duo of Amy & Angey. This called for a two-hour-long lunch break at the Olive Garden because, breadsticks. And it was the most fun two hours I've had in quite a while. Sooooo much laughing :) 
While out shopping I decided to use my Target birthday giftcard on a new toaster, which I knew was sad and possibly old-ladyish, but really I was all, Yay! A new toaster!! Woohooo!

My newest Costco discovery of yumminess. Those darned sample tables strike again! 

Enjoying a beautiful day and a much overdue lunch date at C'est La Vie cafe, with the ever-lovely Sairaina. I am continually blessed and encouraged by our friendship. She is a gift.

Speaking of gifts... this immaculate mini fridge with a stainless steel front was just sitting on the side of the road with a "free" sign on it. A gift from God? We sure thought so! (Perfect for the shop and family camp next summer.) And then we brought it home and plugged it in. Lights came on, it turned on and started humming, but two hours later it was still not cold. Hmmmm. We are hoping it's a super easy and cheap fix, and if not, hey, for free it was worth a shot!

Saturday night was date night, and as an added bonus we spent almost an hour in Barnes & Nobles bookstore while waiting for our movie. I found this heavenly, although I laughed at myself when I realized I used up most of the time browsing all the bibles, when I have three at home! (I don't know why, all the pretty leather covers just drew me in and I needed to inspect them all?)

And yesterday afternoon was spent at the most delightful surprise garden tea party for my friend Therese, thrown by her three beautiful daughters. Perfect end to the weekend. 

(Those daughters... they did an amazing job! The food, music, and decorations were TOP NOTCH. Well done, little Lews!)

What I Wore Wednesday


Oh look at that! School's back in and all of a sudden I have 5 outfits to share again from my week, instead of a measly 2 & 3... funny how that happens!

(read: Boo, life's responsibilities have returned, and with them the need to wear items other than running shorts.)

No. 1
Dress Barn lace top, Kenneth Cole dress pants, Famous Footwear wedges (see below to actually see them, in shadow), old jewelry

No. 2 
Old Navy blouse, Target skirt, Famous Footwear wedges

No. 3 
clothes swap top, Banana Republic jeans, Target sandals, Christmas gift scarf (from Freddies)

No. 4 
Gap tee, Old Navy skirt, Rue 21 sandals

No. 5 
Arizona flannel shirt, Nike tee, Costco brand yoga capris, Converse tennies
And this is what you wear to a soccer game at 9am on Saturday morning after the first week of school (ie: after getting up early all week). There is no head because there is no makeup!

pleated poppy

Monday Confessional


After a month of working two jobs (my own part time office job + filling in part time for my sister's much more complicated & demanding office job while she's on maternity leave), while also being responsible for my home, my three children, & managing their fall schedules which include volleyball, soccer, and piano lessons, aaaand planning a huge 24-hour scrapbook event coming up in a month, I am ready to make the following confessions:

1. I am a weeenie. I don't know how full-time working mothers do it. I don't. I'm sure not doing it. Not well at least. MY HATS OF TO YOU, AMAZING WORKING MOTHERS OF THE WORLD.

2. I now call my house "the badlands". It's a literal pit of despair. Children are eating poptarts and whatever else they can scrounge up for meals, and searching for socks in the dirty laundry pile because I can not face the housework. CAN. NOT.

3. On multiple occasions I have climbed into bed by 7:00 pm and stayed there for the rest of the evening.

4. My tolerance level for normal sibling bickering has plummeted and last week two of my children were dropped off a 1/4 mile from home and told to walk the rest of the way. It was heavenly.

5. I keep forgetting to actually take a break and use the bathroom during the day. (That's probably not healthy.)

6. My weekends are currently filled with grocery shopping, laundry, and cleaning. I declare this to be EL LAME-O.

7. When my husband emailed me to say he hadn't realized how much work I do as a mainly stay-at-home mom, and that he was glad his eyes had been opened, I fist-pumped the air and declared this short season of craziness ALL WORTH IT. :)

{Working in my sister's office and getting a visit from my nephew on his first day of preschool... what a cutie!}

End of Summer Friday Photo Dump


What we have here is a whole pile of instagram shots taken over the summer that I never got around to "blog dumping" at the end of each week.

I have now determined that I will not feel complete until I get them on here, because you know I will eventually get around to printing my blog into a book for my family, and without these included there will be MISSING PEICES OF OUR LIVES that won't capture important things like the nine thousand pictures I took of my coffee drinks.

So there's the intro. Will it help if I make the pictures more compact? With less words? Like, barely any?

(The first week of school has been okay, by the way. I know you were worried about me with all my crying and mourning and such.)
1. Pool swimming. LOTS of it this summer.
2. Homemade strawberry shortcake & whipping cream. I'M FANCY.
3. Meeting up with Jana at the pool so we can do some dubious supervising while rehashing So You Think You Can Dance.
4. Enjoying a little concert in the park with Blake while big brother's at Royal Rangers.
5. Kendall's sketches.
6. My parents garden, aka: my favorite summer market.

1. I indulged in several of these this summer... Nutty Coconut on a sugar cone. YUM.
2. Miley feelin' the summer breeze.
3. Russ & Kendall out on a daddy-daughter date.
4. Fishy catchin' at the river.
5. The Music Man broadway show with girlfriends!
6. Russ brought this teeter-totter home (I call it a see-saw but am a bone on my own). It's been QUITE the hit. 

1. Date night at the Markum Inn. Little did we know a month later it would burn down. So sad!
2 & 3. A Black Rock coffee drive-thru goes in around the corner from my work and I become a big fan.
5. Mum and I arriving at the hospital for my nephew's birth. Priorities.
6. Enjoying our new deck. And an iced white mocha, of course. 

1. Reunited with one of my best friends from highschool after 10 years! One of my favorite days of the whole summer.
2. The new deck almost complete!
3. Jana and I at the pool again, this time accidentally dressed as twins.
4. The face of concentration.
5. Taking Kendall for a shopping spree for her 13th birthday.
6. And then dismayed at her lack of stamina! There's no sleeping on a shopping spree!

1. Forgetting my husband's birthday till the day of, and saving the day with a banner & trail cameras :)
2. More fishy catchin' at the river, this time by a crawdad!
3. When the lego magazine arrives and all is quiet and at peace in the world.
4. First day of school! 8th, 1st, and 6th grade, respectively.
5. Documenting my first professional manicure EVVVERRRRRR. Shellac is my new love.
6. Adorable birthday rainboots from my sister... now how can a girl get some rain around these parts?