Monday, October 19, 2020

Camp Fire Hair

Hello there Monday!

How was your weekend? Ours' was full of the very best things. 

Friday we went out to eat with some friends from my previous job to celebrate a birthday. The food was amazing (I had scallops with lobster risotto and a smoked old fashioned) and I loved getting the opportunity to chat with some of the people I miss so much. This was also the first time some of them had met or really talked to Dan, which was likely entertaining to say the least. 

Saturday morning I ran, worked, and dropped Ina off at dance and then hurried home to pack the car and get everyone ready for a day of camping. In the three minutes it took me to pack the car, Mira had taken off all her clothes, took out her hair, opened Cora's Halloween Costume, put it on, and covered her face in lipgloss. Triple sigh. 

Dan's dad and his family hosted their yearly rendezvous event and, as usual, the food and the company did not disappoint.

The girls made new friends, played in the leaves, and then eventually in the dirt.

They were especially excited to see Baby Delaney again. 

We drove home covered in grime and camp fire smoke, listening to Harry Potter, and counting down the minutes before we could shower. I may have fallen asleep before 9 PM. 

Sunday started with a long walk while watching the sun rise and then heading to church for the majority of the morning. After a BLT salad for lunch, Ina, Cora, and I went to their dance buddy picnic. 

Ina has been looking forward to finding out who her dance buddy is for a long time now, and although I don't know if Cora completely understood the concept, she was excited when her new buddy gave her candy. Ha!

The get together was at a beautiful property with a pond, a hayride, and another fire, which I was incredibly thankful for, as it was COLD. Cora kept on screaming that she was getting frost bite, but every time I tried to cover her up with my coat she would run off to play with a dog or throw rocks in the pond. 

We made another drive home smelling like campfire and, for the third time in less than 24 hours, I needed a shower. The weekend ended with grilled pork chops, sautéed cabbage, and baked sweet potatoes for dinner and watching blooper videos on antennae TV. 

We mostly enjoyed others' cooking this weekend, but Mira and I did make these simple yet tasty pumpkin muffins Saturday morning. She was the only one awake and was so excited to help me in the kitchen. She kept on saying, "Momma, this is so fun!"A great reminder that one on one time is so precious. 

I hope you have a great week!

Friday, October 16, 2020

Another Seat at the Table

Woohoo, it's Friday!

This week has flown by and yet I have very little to show for it, in the form of pictures at least. I have successfully been limiting time on my phone, but a consequence is less pictures. Thankfully, Cora's teachers were able to capture her enjoying her PJ pajama party on Wednesday.

Wednesday we had small group and stayed up past our bedtime talking with dear friends. I picked up Chipotle for dinner and Cora and Mira were very upset there was something in their tacos other than "small meat." Sigh. 

Last night was all the driving and dancing and grocery shopping and starting to move Nonnie in. In between trips to the dance studio I chopped up sausage, potatoes, onions, and cabbage and made a hash when I returned home. I don't know if I have mentioned this on the blog, but my mother-in-law is moving into our basement. We are so excited about this and have already so enjoyed an extra person at the dinner table.

We plan to add a kitchen and laundry room to a space that was practically unused except for storing junk that we don't need/use. We are also going to sell the house she currently lives in, so there are lots of extra things to think about and strategize in our family. I currently don't have a lot of extra mental space, which is almost a blessing in this situation. A previous version of myself would have attempted to be involved past the level of necessity. Now, I am just sitting back and watching, occasionally lending my opinion or muscles for moving things. 

In other news, a few things I am excited about:
- One of our friends gave us a soda stream! Now I just need to learn how to use it. 
-  I finally tried the mascara from Thrive, and I must say I am a fan.
- $100 off your first Stitch Fix box! Their fall styling is my favorite. 

I hope you have an amazing weekend! <3

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

What Does Floss Mean?

 Hey there! How has the week treated you so far? 

Yesterday all three girls had an early dentist appointment, so I had to skip out on blogging time to squeeze everything in. 

(I completely gave up on Mira wearing anything other than what is on the dress up rack.)

Look at sweet little Ina 4 years ago...

...and Cora...whelp.

Over the weekend Cora asked me, "Mom, how can a person be five years old but still feel four years old?" Bless her precious heart, she has some good questions. I too want to know how a person can be 36 years old, but feel 25 years old. Ha! 

The dentist appointment went mostly well, until the dentist asked the girls if they were flossing and at the same time Ina answered, "No, we don't have floss at our house." and Cora asked, "What does floss mean?" Mom of the year over here. 

Monday night was a flurry of activity as Dan had to work late and the girls were out of school that day and therefore wound up like an eight day clock. Dan mowed in the dark, that's all I remember. 

Last night I accidentally picked a meal that had over an hour of hands on cooking time and used all four burners of the stove. You might wonder, as Dan did, how someone accidentally does such a thing, but so many of my recipes take very little time that I forget this is something I should look into before planning a meal. Ha! It was very close to worth the effort though, even though I completely burnt the first pot of cabbage. We had bacon apple smothered pork chops with mashed potatoes and steamed cabbage. It was quite delicious and I am looking forward to leftovers for lunch today.

While I am sharing recipes, our dinner Monday night was ginger scallion chicken,  absolutely delicious, and very little hands on effort. Tonight, we are getting Chipotle. 

I better get to tackling the day and off my computer to avoid any online shopping. 

Monday, October 12, 2020

S'mores and Football

Good morning! How did the weekend treat you? 

My weekend flew past me so quickly that when my alarm went off this morning I had to remind myself it was indeed Monday. 

Friday we were invited to some friends' beautiful house out in the country for a bonfire. The kids made themselves right at home exploring in the woods, playing with the chickens, climbing the rock wall, and jumping on the trampoline while Dan and I chatted outside with the adults. 

Although the s'mores board looked amazing, I passed in favor of a homemade cinnamon roll. Or two. Mira, on the other hand, sampled everything the board had to offer, and according to multiple reports, may have taken a few bites and then returned the uneaten chocolate. 

We finished the evening off sitting around the fire and staying up past our bedtime. Saturday started with a foggy run, a little work, then driving Ina to dance. 

The whole family then drove to see my niece Hallaway's volleyball game and my nephew Kauffman's football game, with a little Mexican food in between. We hadn't seen my sister's family since school started and we missed them! The girls had so much fun running all over the bleachers with their cousins and I enjoyed the extra hugs.

We then headed to Brad and Chessa's house to celebrate Brad's birthday with pickle ball and chili. (I brought my favorite fall salad (arugula, shaved brussels sprouts, bacon, Parmesan cheese, sliced almonds, dried cranberries, and this maple dijon dressing - so yum!)

I enjoyed a long walk on Sunday morning, listening to a new book, The Hazel Wood. We then hurriedly got ready for church where I spent the first hour listening to some awesome worship music and the second hour rocking a precious baby who lounged across my lap in the nursery. 

We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening finishing everything that needed to be done the weekend before and didn't. I am happy to report that the laundry is done and the the first room of the basement is emptied of all of the very heavy things that were once in it. Only two more to go before we can start work! 

I made chicken pot pie for dinner, which made everyone in my family very happy. 

I hope you have great start to your week!

Friday, October 9, 2020

Dip Night

Happy Friday friends! 

Picture from my daily lunch time walk with Lola. Pro tip if you work from home: block out 15-20 minutes in your calendar around lunch to go outside. Life changing.

Yesterday was full of a few birthday celebrations. Our sweet neighbor and precious friend Holland turned 10, so Ina and Cora quickly headed down the street in the morning to celebrate with donuts. 

Then after work, dance drop off, and grocery pick up, a few friends came over to belatedly celebrate my birthday. We had dip night, which I would strongly recommend. I made the classic 7 layer dip from my childhood. Danielle made a monster cookie dip (amazing). Also, Megan, one of my friends from pharmacy school that I don't get the chance to see very often came over, which was so lovely. 

Dan took over picking both girls up from dance so I could sit and enjoy some girl time with some friends. It was just fantastic. 

The girls were more than happy to celebrate with dip for dinner and cupcakes for dessert. 

I am off to start the day. Lots to look forward to this weekend. I hope you have a great one! <3

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Why We Vacation

Good morning! 

I had nothing to say yesterday, so a post just didn't happen. I used the extra time to add another mile to my morning run and it was a perfect and beautiful fall morning to do so. I have two days to finish the 2.25 hours I have left in my most recent audio book, before I go back on the 8 week library hold list. Let me tell you, running in the dark while listening to a scary(ish) book is a great way to elevate your heart rate. 

I have spent most of my free time the past 48 hours negotiating underwear details with a three year old. Suddenly, absolutely none of the panties in our house are acceptable for her to wear. She also refuses to go without, which I must admit was the first solution I attempted. Bless her heart, she has tried many different tactics to convince me she should change her panties for the 10th time in the hour. They are too big. Too small. Wet. She doesn't like the picture on them. They aren't her's. Sigh. 

I have always told myself I would not live vicariously through my children, but I can't help but look forward to posts from their schools showing what they did or worked on that day. I really liked Ina's paragraph she wrote about a vacation we went on a year and a half ago. 

That right there is why I make vacation such a high priority in my life and for our family. Those weeks stick out in our memory when so many others all blend together and fade away. 

Cora also had her bike-a-thon yesterday and when I picked her up from school (Nonnie had a doctor's appointment), she proudly said, "Mom, I got a medal today! I won my bike-a-thon! We all won!" I later watched the video her teacher posted and laughed when Cora was riding on the back of the bike while another kid was pedaling his heart out. Smart kid.

The past two days have been pretty much part of our routine. Workouts that kick my booty in the morning. frantically getting ready for the day, work until the girls come home, then make dinner and move on to the evening's activity - Tuesday Ina had dance and Wednesday we had small group. 

Dinner last night was delicious: no latta meatballs (I couldn't find the recipe online, but it is in this cookbook), salad, and roasted carrots. 

Minimal chopping plus only sheet pans to clean up are the way to go. 

I hope you have a great Thursday! The weekend is almost here! <3

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Cora's Photography

 Good morning! 

Yesterday was filled with so many bright spots - a HIIT workout that left my legs very sore today, filling out a new planner (oh the joy!), finding a solution to a problem/question at work, and a Chiefs win last night!

Ina had kids small group at church, so I made dinner (chicken tinga tacos with slaw) in between dropping her off and picking her up again. Dinner was interesting because Ina was distracted with wanting to start on her homework assignment from school (an invention to solve a problem!), Mira was so tired she was eating with her eyes closed, and Cora could barely hold still telling us stories from her day. 

During the game Cora took my phone and started taking pictures, which included a picture of me at my best end of the day leisure, 

Dan's armpit and her sisters,

and many pictures of her Patrick Mahomes socks, from every different angle. 

If it were up to Cora, she would wear these socks daily. I have to hide them from her on non-game days. 

She is quite the photographer, huh? 

I hope you have a great day! <3

Monday, October 5, 2020

Girl Party

Good morning and Happy Monday! I am a cup of coffee in and ready to start this week off right. 

Dan was out of town Friday night (helping our friend Brad work on their lake house) and most of Saturday, so the girls and I had a "girl party." Friday night I did 4 loads of laundry and seared up some burgers for dinner. Brooke, Holland, and Nonnie stopped by, making it a true girl party. 

We ended with all of the girls in my bed watching the first hour of Twilight, which I thought would put them right to sleep and instead left them awake with 1000 questions about vampires. Lesson learned.

Saturday was without my usual morning run, as I couldn't leave the girls home alone. So instead, while Ina was at dance I had the bright idea of taking Cora, Mira, and Lola (our dog) to a nearby park with a trail, so I could run around the girls while they were playing. 

In theory, this would have worked, but what actually happened is that Mira immediately went down a wet slide and, as she absolutely refuses to wear wet clothes, was hysterical until I finally told her she could take her clothes off if she stayed in the van. Then, Cora needed to go to the bathroom, which of course was across the parking lot. As soon as I got Cora to the bathroom I hear my van alarm going off. I run over to find Mira, practically naked in the van with the alarm going off and guess what? She locked the van doors and pressed the alarm button with the key that she now can't find. Did I mention the park and parking lot were FULL of people and cars. 

What felt like hours later she found the key and unlocked the door to rescue us all from the embarrassment of having the fire department help me get a naked toddler out of a locked car. After that I sort of half heartedly ran a mile, but mostly just kept making sure Mira was behaving herself. 

We came home for me to get started on the girls' closets. I was able to finish switching out Mira and Cora's winter and summer clothes before calling it quits. Ina's clothes will be the most challenging, so I am saving that for a different day. I also whipped up another batch of kombucha and found the perfect use for that empty shelf in the laundry room closet. 

Saturday night we headed out to Danielle and Kyle's for dinner, where Dan and Brad met us from the lake. The moms played cards. The kids played outside. It was a nice and relaxing evening. 

Sunday started with a short walk and then two church services. On the way home: 

Cora: I better buckle my seat belt. I don't want daddy to go to jail. I don't want a new daddy. I want my daddy.

Me: Don't worry about that. I don't think I would try to find a new daddy.

Cora: Hmmm...I don't think they have daddies at the pound. 

We spent the rest of the day at home smoking some pork, setting up Mira's new bed, and hanging out as a family. Even though we are together often, it seems like we haven't had a lot of down time with just the five of us lately. It was a good day and it ended with an early bedtime and two chapters of Harry Potter. 

I hope you have a great week! <3

Friday, October 2, 2020

Thursday Marathon

Happy Friday!  

Last night was my typical crazy Thursday - work until the minute Ina gets off the bus. Help Ina and Cora get dressed for dance and their hair up and water bottles filled and snacks packed and dance bags found in 10 minutes. Drive them to dance. Stop by the auto parts store to figure out why none of the buttons in my van are working (likely a result of me letting the battery die twice in one week). Pick up groceries. Pick up Cora from dance. Pick up Mira from Nonnie's. Come home and unload/put away groceries. Make dinner-grilled chicken thighs, roasted potatoes, cucumber salad). Do the dishes. Shove dinner in my face in 5 minutes. Go back to dance to watch Ina's duet (adorable!!!). Come home.

I was on such a mission that when I stuck my head outside to see what Dan was doing and realized he was talking to our neighbors who recently had an adorable baby, that I almost...almost didn't go say hi. But then his adorable cheeks (the baby's, not Dan's)  reminded me that there is more to life than to-do lists. 

This is only one night a week, but man is it a marathon. I know these are all things of my own choosing, and for the most part, there is something about me that likes the challenge of getting so much done in such a short period of time. I just have to giggle when my watch thinks I am exercising when I am really just multi-tasking. 

I know there are things I could do to make the night easier, like pick up dinner at a restaurant. However, we had Chipotle the evening before, so I didn't have to worry about making dinner before small group. Ina and Cora could not believe we were going out to eat on a week night and literally did a chant the entire way to pick it up. As we were eating it, Cora proclaimed, "I love restaurant food!" and Ina said, "Don't get used to it. We only do this once a year."

I think she has a selective memory, although when I look back over the last year, most of the times I have been out to eat have been without my children on date nights. 

I don't have much else to say today, but think I could easily keep rambling, so I am going to cut myself off. This weekend's to-do list: 

  • Laundry mountain
  • Bring out the girls fall/winter clothes and put away their shorts and sandals so they stop trying to wear them.
  • Make kombucha.
  • Set up a big girl bed in Mira's room. (I will be very surprised if this actually happens, but a girl can dream, right?)
I hope you have a great weekend! <3

Thursday, October 1, 2020

October Goals


Anne always says it best. 

Happy October! I feel like I blinked and September disappeared. My new job and school are underway. The pool is closed. We have to wear pants. And socks. 

Now that life is a little more settled, I feel comfortable planning for the month ahead. Here are a few goals and habits I want to keep up:


  • Close all of my rings on my watch. My daily lunch time walk has greatly helped to improve my step count and I was ONE day off for September. So close.
  • Continue my healthy habits of daily prayer and bible study, drinking 100 oz of water per day, and exercising some way daily. 
  • Focus on keeping my mood and anxiety level and not getting too worked up about things. Jesus and I are working on this and making big moves. 


  • Go to the pumpkin patch - I promised Cora I would take her back. 
  • Continue our nightly "Wows and Pows" conversation and Harry Potter listening. Hopefully we will finish this book by the end of the month. 
  • Order Halloween costumes
  • Put away the girls' summer clothes and organize their fall/winter clothes.


  • Reach out to two new people per week. Starting a new job virtually makes meeting everyone a little challenging, but I am hoping my smile and enthusiasm can come through my instant messaging. Ha!
  • Complete two training courses
  • Complete three projects I have never done before. (This should be easy, as almost everything I am doing is something I have never done before. Ha!)
I hope you have a great Thursday and a great first day of October!

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