Jan 23, 2018

A (snow) Day in the Life

How about a day in the life post?  This was from last Tuesday, but alas, school was cancelled the entire week so I am behind on life.  Our county is a large one, with lots of rural and mountainous areas.  If it snows, we are out for a while until everyone can get out.

7:00 A.M. We all wake up slow as school was announced closed for snow the night before.  Of course, the snow is still hours away.  Dell Harper requests some hot tea, and the big kids get to cuddle on the couch with a show.

 Tommy is sleeping in, so I take advantage of the quiet to revise some documents for work and sending e-mails.
 Time for breakfast- the kids' latest favorite is cinnamon toast with our favorite bread.

Everyone has some cinnamon toast and scrambled eggs, including Tommy and me.  Morgan manages shopping centers, so he was off early, anticipating a long day of making sure everything is salted and cleared.

9:00 A.M.  Knowing it's going to be a long week bereft of me or work time, I take the kids to jazzercise.  They get to play with a bunch of buddies who are also out of school, and I get to shake it for a bit.  Peremptory stress relief.  

10:00  We live a bit early, as I booked them in childcare at our club where they can play and eat lunch, so I can lift some weights and then take care of a few pressing work matters.  I also worked late the night before since they cancelled school.

 The gym has the greatest view (what's missing? snow!).
 I do these sets.  Normally I go to group training classes, but have been unable to lately- sick Tommy, Christmas break, and now snow has had me out for about six weeks.  My trainer was kind enough to write me out a bunch of routines to do on my own.

Requisite gym selfie that makes me look skinnier than I am.
 After working out for about 30 minutes, I head upstairs to work and lunch (1/2 a turkey club on wheat and Caesar salad).
12:00 I grab the kids, then it's back home for Tommy's nap.  The big kids want to "cook", so they slice up some crudités.
1:30  After we get done with carrot and cucumber snack, they notice it's started snowing!
 I rush to get my wreathes down before it really gets snowy and cold. Procrastination at its best.




 Back inside for some hot chocolate and warming by the fire.
 2:00 P.M.- Tommy wakes up.  His latest word(s) are "What's dat?"  He is especially intrigued by the snow and stand at the window asking over and over again what it is.  Consider me charmed.

 The big kids are dying to go out, but it's too much for T.  I suit them out in their snow bibs, hats, gloves etc.  and peep in on them from the windows and screen porch (a friend of mine calls this "70's parenting").

They're having a blast.  It's freezing outside, and I'm still wearing workout capris.  I start to put proper snow clothes on, when the doorbell rings.  It's our neighbors wanting to sled.  Perfect! Except the kids are out the door, we can't find our sleds, I'm not fully prepared, and Tommy is still in pjs because I can't find snow gear.  And the kids are starting to lose it because it's close to 5 o'clock and they're cold, tired and hungry.

 I make the poor decision to head to the neighbors' house for more sledding, thinking perhaps a change of scene will help.  It does not, and I have to push the double stroller back with a howling baby and a whiny 5 year old inside.  It's tough going.

5:30 P.M. However, I get everyone cozy, and heat up some soup for the kiddos, along with homemade grilled cheese.  Morgan pops in to see how I am faring.  He shoulders some of the meltdowns and I get it together.

The night before I prepped biased beef short ribs, and I had that cooking all afternoon in the oven.

6:00 PM While the kids decompress, warm up by the fire and play in the playroom, I snarf this down.  It's delicious and warm.  Morgan entertains the big kids before he has to go back to work, while I take T up for bath.

 I can't cut this curl mullet quite yet.

Deeds and Dell Harper arrive for their bath.  While they splash, I get Tommy dressed in pjs, then let him crawl around while I tackle this mess.



6:30 P.M.-  A little better- and at least the hamper is emptied of clothes.  Kids' bath is finished and they are pajama-ed. They get to demolish my attempt at straightening their room, while I read and put this little fellow to bed.
After a couple books and songs, it's time to read 4-5 books to big kids, as we snuggle on their loveseat.  They get a couple songs, and a few more snuggles, then it's lights out.

7:30 P.M.- I need to tackle my disaster of a house, but decide it's pretty much futile, as it won't get above 24 degrees tomorrow.
 Instead I enjoy the fire and watch The Good Place without Morgan who is still working.  He comes home halfway through and busts me, but is very understanding.
 We catch up on our days, and I take care of the kitchen and dishes.

8:30 P.M. I take my nightly hot bath, put on clean pjs, and dive into a new library book. A perfect ending for a long day!

Jan 16, 2018

Weekend Wrap Up

I had the best weekend- two of my best friends growing up came in town for our second annual Knoxville girls' weekend.  I have laughed and talked so much that my face just aches.  My head might have ached a little bit Saturday morning as well.

Just us girls went to J.C. Holdway Friday night, for a delicious meal and plentiful cocktails.  I split the hangar steak, on the advice of my brother who happened to be on there on a  date night with his wife (great minds, yada yada).  It was fantastic, as was my starter of grilled broccolini salad.  And my multiple glasses of cava.

Saturday I trudged through a workout to give myself a boost, and to take advantage of the club's childcare.  You know it's not the most effective time when you spend longer eating lunch there than actually exercising. However, 30 minutes of intervals on the treadmill helped combat my six hours of sleep.

Saturday we let the boys come along, and headed to AK and Dixon's house for lasagna and Cards Against Humanity. It was another fantastic, fun, ribald evening. I haven't seen that side of midnight two nights in a row in quite a long time.

We have a new interim minster at church- he is wonderful!  However, I had a bad case of the yawns and was terrified that he would notice!  Ha!


Monday night I recovered a bit of equanimity by making chicken and dumplings featured in this month's Southern Living. I balanced it out with a metric ton of steamed broccoli.
Here's the recipe.  They hit the spot- Dell Harper had about five bowls.  Deeds had some broccoli and crackers because he only wanted tomato soup and "nuttin else!".  Fine, by me little buddy.  More for me!

While Tommy napped and I made dumpling dough, the kids got their Jackson Pollack on with this kit they got for Christmas from Target.
This was a horrible parenting decision on my behalf.  My back porch will never be the same.  They lasted about ten minutes without a vociferous discussion on technique that involved my darling children Jackson Pollacking each other.  And Target?  FYI- make your damn paints washable.  Thanks.

They exchanged art for a good long bubble bath, and I got my dumplings done.  All is well.  Except for my splatter arted porch.  Ahhhh, real life.

Jan 12, 2018

Five on Friday

1) Warm Weather (Albeit Temporary):

Is there anything more lovely than strolling by a creek in the watery, winter sun?
We have made the most of the last two day of warmer temperatures!

Wednesday Dell Harper and I enjoyed taking Buddy for a couple of miles down the greenway.  I jogged/walked and she scootered- the boys stay at school until 4 on Wednesdays so I can have a little girl time with my big kindergartener.

 The kiddos watched their afternoon program on the porch yesterday when the rain forced us off their new zipline.

 You can see it in the upper right corner of this pic.  If you can take your eyes off this cutie in a cardigan.  I struggle with that.  His cuteness is overwhelming at times- my teeth will be grinded to shreds before he makes it to two.

(Side note- why do cute things make us grind our teeth?  Such an odd reaction!)

2) L.L. Bean Mountain Classic Anorak

Per my very specific request, Morgan got me this number for Christmas.  I was BEYOND thrilled.  It's just like the one I had in high school (although missing the Aztec ribbon detail- prob for the best).  Yesterday's rain and mild temps made it perfect attire.  I had a lot of "OOOOOHHHHH! I had one just like that back in the day!"'s at all my various school pickups.  Here's the (non-affiliate) link- it's even more cozy than I remember.  I'm (almost) 5'4" and a 4-6, and mine is a petite small if you need sizing help.

3)  Pop Rocks for the Bath
These are awesome!!  My kids are obsessed- bath time is a par-tay now!  Santa had stuck a couple of packets in their stockings, and this mama had to amazon prime a big box of the packets.  So fun!

4) Dorothy Draper Prep
I nabbed copies of both of Dorothy Draper's books in preparation for an upcoming trip to the Greenbrier (squee!!!).  My attempted reading on the porch was made impossible by a sweet, be-cardiganed baby wanting to cuddle, but it's calling my name!

5) Oral History of Home Alone

This is a bit late, but my kiddos got on the Home Alone train big-time over Christmas break.  I hadn't seen the movie since I was a child honestly, having been quite burnt out by my brother's daily after-school viewings, and use of Macaulay Culkin hand on cheek moves to get out of trouble (he was successful in this).  Having had a 20-odd year break made it fantastic to see again.


I loved reading this oral history of the movie- the background made it even better.  Now, I'm off to wallpaper my entire house in shades of red and green.

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