Tuesday, January 28, 2014

oh i'm just whining about winter again...

I am not dealing well with this winter weather. I realize this comes as no surprise to anyone, but yeah. We have had WAY too many days down in the single digits or even below zero. I've been trying to cheer myself up saying this level of coldness helps us acclimate, that when it "warms up" to the 20s and 30s it will feel nice in comparison...AND GOD WOULD IT BE NICE IF IT WARMED UP JUST THAT MUCH (I just now checked my weather app and it is currently 8*F outside, and "feels like" -6). And I know our winter has even been "mild" compared to what a lot of the midwest is going through right now, but egads. Still. I am tired of being cold, tired of keeping track of everyone's gloves and socks and snowboots and hats, tired of arguing with my kids over putting on their damn jackets already.  Also, I never thought I'd say this but I miss running (or at least running outside... I see people still doing it even on these ridiculously cold days, but I just can't handle it). This weather is seriously bumming me out.

And it's still just barely January...

When we talked about coming to NH for these 2 years for school we half-joked that this experience could also serve as a test for whether we would ever want to consider living someplace with cold winters long-term. I think we have our answer. (...or at least, mine)

One bonus this winter, though, is we've all been remarkably healthy so far (KNOCK ON WOOD). There are some seriously nasty bugs going around, but aside from a few colds and sniffles we've managed to stay fairly healthy. So a big YAY to that.

Monday, January 27, 2014

my wild things {week 16}

D has recently discovered the world of Ninjago which means all he and Q wanna do these days is watch the show on netflix, play the game, or run around the house yelling, "NINJAGOOOOOOOOO!" This week D took all the money he's earned from his allowance + tooth fairy money and bought his first ninjago lego set. As soon as we got home he promptly sat down and spent the next half hour or so patiently, carefully, putting his earth driller set together. It was only when I sat down just now to post these pictures that I realized I didn't get any of the finished product... woops.

Related: apparently flickr changed the way they do photo embeds recently and it is not playing nicely with my computer/browser/magical computer gnomes/whatever. Which is, to say the least, a bit annoying. I've been using flickr for YEARS to share photos and host them for blogging, but every change they make is making the site less usable for me and more of a pain. Siiiighhhh Oh well. Will figure out a new system, I guess. </endrant>

Saturday, January 25, 2014

filling the tank

Taking my own advice, I spent a lot of today giving myself a break-- I took myself out to breakfast, I got a haircut, I sat in a coffee shop reading up for a fascinating class that, thanks to wonderful friends stepping in to babysit, I am able to sit in on one evening a week with Zach. I stopped by the library, for the first time in weeks, and brought home a nice big stack of books for the boys. Yes, that's "for them" but lately they've been less keen on reading books together because they get bored of the books we have at home, so seeing them so excited about "new"(to-them) books and wanting to sit and read all these new ones with me felt pretty darn good. I wrote out a few lists to help keep my head organized. And now, Zach is off at a Tuck party and I am about to curl up on the couch with some tea and watch a movie. Happy saturday night, everyone.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

squeaky wheels and self-care


Our dear friend Sasha was visiting us for the past couple weeks. It was lovely and wonderful having her here and having so much time to just hang out. This morning she flew back to the west coast, and our single-digit winter temperatures have returned, and perhaps it is no surprise that as a result I was not in my best mood a lot of today. The day was made somewhat better by Q and I spending the afternoon watching The Muppets (the 2011 movie, which may be my favorite of all the muppet movies yet), then after getting D from school we visited our old nextdoor neighbors at their new house. Of course then when it was time to go home Q threw a fit and I had to carry him and his eleventybillion layers of cold-weather stuff (which he refused to put on, of course) to the car and the cloud of gloom returned.

The other day I found a list of goals I had written out for myself, to do while Zach was on his extended winter break. The goals were simple things, like read a few books on my to-read list or work through a few lightroom or PS elements tutorials. And, well, almost none of them happened. Part of that was there never seems to be quite as much free time as I imagine during these breaks, and I could list out all sorts of other excuses, but really time just gets away and other things always come up and I couldn't help but feel irritated with myself for not making time for even those simple things.

When we got back from our Texas trip I quickly got to work unpacking our suitcases. I was so proud of myself-- I got everything out of the suitcases themselves, stacked it all neatly into piles according to where they needed to go. I put away the boys' clothes, put Zach's stuff away, filled the dirty clothes hamper with our dirty stuff, and after all that I looked at the pile of my own clothes folded on the bed waiting for their turn...and there they sat the rest of the day because I ran out of steam taking care of everyone else's stuff and just couldn't be bothered. I posted a picture on instagram of my sad pile of deserted clothes and half-jokingly wondered if this was a metaphor.

As I write all this I can hear my mom's voice reminding me when I was a kid that, you know, Marcy, the squeaky wheel gets the grease and you gotta squeak every once in a while, honey. My little family includes three other wheels who squeak a lot louder than I do, and this process of carving out time for me and my shit is a two-steps-forward-two-steps-back dance I've been struggling with for the almost-six (!!!!!) years that I've been a (stay-at-home)parent, and I will likely be whining about this same stuff years from now. Or maybe not, maybe it will get easier as time goes by and my little kiddoes become less little, less squeaky (...or simply big enough to reach the bottle of grease on their own). Time will tell, I guess. And I don't mean to paint this bleak picture or make it sound like I am deeply unhappy or whatever, because really there is so much good in this life of mine, of ours. But I suppose we all have days that feel a little blue, and reminders of things we could stand to work on.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

their toys

I recently came across Melissa Gibson's series photographing her kids' toys. I've seen similar projects before, and I've always really liked the idea especially since, hey, I'm surrounded by kid toys 24/7 and my kids do have some cool toys. So I'm trying to be more purposeful in looking at their toys as inspiration.

Also, I found a couple free lightroom presets that mimic that faded-film look, which I'm really excited about because, yes, I am that predictable and have totally fallen for the "faded digital" fad. So sue me. But yeah, so I had fun playing around with the presets and using them as a starting point and reverse-engineering the settings to figure out how to get the look on my own, too.

Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled

Thursday, January 09, 2014

beginning-of-the-year musings

It's a hot tea + yoga pants kinda day. #oristhateveryday #howigetthroughwinter
Hot tea + cozy pants have been essentials around here lately.
The first several days back from our trip were extremely lazy-- we had nothing to do, nowhere we needed to go, which was great because it was also too cold to really want to even get out of the house for much of anything. We did go out and play in the snow some, we also watched some movies, ate popcorn, played with friends, and just spent time together as a family enjoying the freedom of not having any outside schedule to adhere to.

Then Monday the first day of school was canceled due to ice on the roads, and I started feeling the first inklings of cabin fever, and by Tuesday morning while I was a bit nervous watching Zach and the boys drive away on roads that still looked awfully icy in my not-at-all-used-to-real-winters-wussy-southerner/westcoaster's opinion, I was also quite grateful for some peace and quiet and having more than 5 minutes to myself to think or do anything.

We had an incredibly calm New Years Eve, in that we were all asleep at midnight because we're boring. But 2014 is now in full swing, and I'm suddenly finding myself juggling a whole lot of stuff-- I'm still sorting through the 2,000+ pictures I took while in Texas; planning Donovan's 6th birthday, coming up in a few weeks; and fulfilling my matron-of-honor duties including throwing a bridal shower in Austin next month and trying to help plan out wedding details for later this spring. Somehow, I'm managing to keep things under control and not freak out about any of it too much... I don't really know how, but it seems copious to-do lists are part of the key.

A lot of last year I felt so scattered, like I couldn't get my thoughts together, couldn't get my shit together, couldn't focus on much of anything, I kept feeling like was passing me by and I couldn't catch up to it. Which is why it feels so amazing to be juggling all these obligations right now and somehow not feel so bogged down by them. I know the changing of the year is just a date of a calendar, but I don't know maybe there really is something to starting fresh, starting over, the new year feeling different. Or maybe our trip provided the right kind of break. Whatever the cause, it would be nice to be able to hold on to this sense for a while.

Friday, January 03, 2014

how long is it till spring again?

Just a few days ago, in Texas, we were doing this....

Brave boys. Playing on the cul-de-sac. #joysofsuburbia #yestherearesome I realize I'm being really obnoxious about this but seriously  you guys. This morning I was in snowboots in -15* weather. This afternoon I wore flip flops and it was 70*. Words cannot describe this happiness right now.

Now we're doing a lot of this.... 

Fun in the snow. Snowplows hadn't come through yet so we put the kids to work. #childlaborFTW #notatalleffective #butsupercute #tillsomeonegetsashoveltotheface Why yes that is a lot of snow. It hasn't stopped all day. upload upload

It is currently -17F outside right now. The highs during the day have been in the single digits. I suppose the silver lining here is that when it warms back up to the 20s and 30s it'll feel downright balmy in comparison...

Nice welcome back, New Hampshire. 


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