{7QuickTakes} Weekly mishmash: Vol. 17

Welcome back to PPP after a bit of a hiatus!  Nothing major going on (as I mentioned last post), just the general business of life and constant other demands on my time.  Stuff has not calmed down in the least, but I realized that I need my writing time.  I function much better when I’m doing it regularly.  This blog is the closest thing I get to therapy, so I need to make an effort to keep it out of the backseat!

This is something of a Weekly mishmash “Catch-up”, plus with a few more recent goings-on.  So, what have we been up to over here?

1.  EASTER.  Here we are after mass.  We showed up 40 minutes early, got to sit in front, and the kids weren’t horrible.  It was an all-around win.

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2.  I took the kids on a day trip to The Museum of Clean.  They loved it!  There were toys and antique toilets!  Fun for all ages!

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3.  We got a new kitty in January.  We adopted her and did not change the name the rescue group had given her: Beatrice.  Once the kids got over the need to carry her around by the neck, it’s been good.  Beatrice keeps us young; she is really hyper.  Especially at 2am.

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4.  I stayed up late every night this week to declutter the basement.  In the ensuing time, I went through 6 Rubbermaid totes of “Keepsakes” that my mother had saved for me from childhood.  Here is what I learned:

First of all, I don’t advocate for throwing out all of your kid’s artwork, school projects, writing assignments, etc.  But you certainly don’t have to keep every. single. one.  I think my mom was sweet for doing so, most likely under the impression that someday…..someday….it may mean so so much to me that I have my junior high math tests and my preschool macaroni art, but I realized that I can really live without those things cluttering up my basement.  I filled an industrial-size garbage can.

However, I appreciate my mom keeping some of those things, because there were some gems.  Like all-caps handwritten notes from my grandmother for me when I was first learning to read.  And the cute little artwork from my younger brothers and sisters.  And the kitchen-table notes from my mom to my younger self that reveal, not only what kind of kid I was at a younger age, but what kind of mom she was (and looking at it with my mother-eyes now, I realize I totally get her in a way I didn’t at the time.)

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Well, thank you, Caity. I WILL have a hippy barsday!!

I also realized that as an adult, I am coming full-circle into what my likes and passions were at that young age.  Gretchen Rubin says in her books The Happiness Project and Happier at Home that we need to look back at what we enjoyed as children to figure out what we enjoy now.  Now, for some people this may be a “duh” moment – “I played matchbox cars as a child and now I love my job as a mechanic!” – but for others of us, myself included, our likes can sometimes be obscured by what we feel as adults we should do.  I graduated from high school thinking I should be a doctor.  Not necessarily because science was my strong point, or because I truly enjoyed all those labs in high school.  I just thought it was what I should do because my parents were in the medical profession and it was a good job.  I failed to consider that I was not really a people-person (not all doctors are, but doctors with the best bedside manner certainly are), nor was I ever good at handling stress (which can be a little bit of an occupational hazard in a stressful profession).  I also was never a science or math person and my grades reflected this.  So, when I finally conceded defeat as a pre-med student, I felt relief but also felt a great deal of self-hatred for “not being able to cut it”.  I wasn’t good enough.  I wasn’t smart enough.  I might still be able to graduate from college with some sort of degree, but I would always consider myself a failure because I couldn’t follow through with my initial goal of being a doctor.

So I majored in history.  Which I loved.  Which didn’t guarantee me a job (as my mother constantly reminded me).  But I figured that if I chased my love, and something I was good at, eventually I would figure something out.

And I had to laugh as I went through those keepsake boxes.

There was a running theme through all of those papers and assignments:  History and writing.  I found an assignment I had to write in 5th grade – a letter to my parents about why I was excited for the beginning of the school year.  I wrote, “I am so excited for 5th grade because we finally get to learn history this year!”  I discovered a nightshirt I had craft-painted that had a picture of a boy and girl in colonial dress, and emblazoned above them in bold letters was “HISTORY”.  I found dozens of stories and plays I had written.  I found a note from my sister telling me that she always thought I would be a great historian or writer.  I understood that all throughout my childhood, I always knew my likes and my strengths.  I just thought that they were stupid and I should try to do something more “realistic” (and probably more lucrative monetarily) than writing or something with history.  Ha.  It would have taken less time and heartache if I had figured that out earlier!

And this super-long take leads to the next take….

5.  I’ve decided to become a middle school/high school history teacher.  I graduated with a history degree but opted not to do the teacher certification at the time because I didn’t think I wanted to teach.  This may have been another fallacy of thought; growing up I heard disparaging things about teachers – despite the fact my grandmothers and aunt were teachers – hmmmm…I’ll have to maybe analyze that in a future blog post….  At any rate, I didn’t think I would be a good teacher, plus I figured I’d hate it.

What changed my mind?  Volunteering at my children’s school.  I have been participating voluntarily for several years doing this program called FAME.  It stands for “Fine Art Mini Experience” and every month volunteer teachers present lessons on one work of art/artist and one musical piece/composer.  I have had so much fun with this!  The kids are always really interested and ask the best questions.  I love doing the research and I learn so much.  It is right up my alley because both art and music are closely aligned with history and I love helping kids make those connections.  The best part is how energized I feel after spending all day at the school teaching these lessons.  As a SAHM, that doesn’t happen very often at home, and I got to the point where I realized I wanted to have that experience more often.

Hubby was very supportive of this.  I am doing an online, accredited program where I can take the teacher certification test in Idaho and can be in a classroom within a year if I so desire.

My youngest, Evvie, is only three, so I have been dealing with some anxiety/guilt about possibly going to work full-time before she is in school full-time.  I haven’t worked out all the details yet, but my main concern is to get my teacher’s certification by next spring and then decide at that point if I want to begin looking for a job or wait a bit until Evvie is in 1st grade.

Ultimately, though, I am confident this is what I should be doing at this point in time.  It took a lot of prayer and soul-searching but I feel excited for this next phase in my life!

6.  We had an awful day on Monday where we had 50 mph winds.  It was terrible!  Power poles got knocked over and trees fell into buildings.  I am so grateful we rarely get tornadoes here but I am beginning to wonder if these high winds we’ve been having lately are not nearly as bad!

7.  I’ve been rocking out to Ed Sheeran.  When I was in Europe this summer, Galway Girl was on the radio a lot when we were tooling around northern France and pulling in British radio stations.  My kids, though, love Shape of You.  For the beat I think.  The lyrics aren’t the most G-rated which makes me a little leery when I listen to it.  There’s that part that goes, “Last night you were in my room/ And now my bedsheets smell like you”

Spike was in the car and yelled up to me, “Why does it say ‘my veggies smell like you’?”

I replied, “Yes, yes, that is what he’s saying, isn’t it?  I guess sometimes that happens.”

And now, every time it comes on my kids crack up because it is SUCH a SILLY SONG!!

Veggies.

Heehee.

 

 

Have a lovely week!

 

 

 

 

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{7 Quick Takes} Weekly Mishmash, Vol. 8

Hello all!  I am feeling better, after starting a new, supplemental medication…I am feeling more like myself.  I am hoping this will prove to be sustainable for the long-term.

This week has been crazy, per usual!  Join Kelly et al with the link up for more craziness, awesomeness, and excitement!

{ONE}

Swimming!

The kids started swim lessons this week.  I actually only signed Bellie and Spike up for class, Evvie and Junior and I just hang out in another pool while the lessons take place.  Like most children, mine love water and the pool has been one of the most fun activities they have had all summer!

{TWO}

Olympics viewing!

We have a tradition of watching the Olympics as a family, and Junior (especially) is really intrigued.  We are having a blast watching swimming  (and Michael Phelps again making history) and gymnastics. Going to see the Olympics in person someday is definitely on my bucket list.  Hubby and I honeymooned in Greece two months prior to the Athens Olympics in 2004, which was close, but hopefully we can actually attend some events at one in the future!  Ultimately, we aren’t a very “sportive” family, we don’t watch much football or baseball or basketball on TV, but we are really impressed by the historic precedence of the Games and athletic ability of all the athletes.

{THREE}

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Meet Joshua the Bunny, the newest addition to our family!  We adopted Joshua (or “Josh” as the kids call him) from a local rabbit rescue in June.  He is just the sweetest guy, so good with all of the kiddos and really friendly and cuddly.  We had been a rabbit-less household for several years, following the death of 10-year-old Cosimo in 2012.  Cosimo, a little white and brown-spotted dwarf rabbit of some sort, and I had been companions since I got him as a singleton in Duluth, Minnesota when I was young and thought defying the landlord to keep a pet in my apartment despite the rule that NO PETS were ALLOWED made me a rebel.  Cosimo got caught under the radiator one day and we thought he was going to be stuck under there forever, but luckily Hubby (before he was Hubby) came to my rescue and rescued the bunny.  [This is how I knew it was True Love.]

Anyhow, we are all really enjoying Joshua and hope he is having a great time acclimating to our home!

{FOUR}

Da Kilt

I was looking through boxes of keepsakes my mom had saved and discovered a trove of baby and toddler dresses from my youth (cue 1980s music).  Luckily, I think some of the dresses can be seen as “vintage chic” now and Evvie will be able to wear them.  Including this completely awesome kilt ensemble that my parents brought back from a trip to Scotland for me in 1982.  (That’s me pretending to be a Scottish lassie above).  It is still in excellent shape and I am so happy that Evvie will be able to wear it soon!

{FIVE}

100_9366The $60.00 Fire Pit

So, one of the things I had really been wanting was a fire pit so we could sit out in the evenings and just relax.  In June, resourceful Hubby made my dreams a reality by creating this fire pit using mostly stuff we had just lying around and the borrowed skid-steer of a friend for earth-moving.  Ultimately, it only wound up costing us $60 for a welded, forest-service style fire ring.  We have some landscaping to do in terms of plants and mulching, but I am just glad that for now we just have a place to roast marshmallows and drink hot cocoa on cool summer nights.

{SIX}

100_9365Sometimes your oldest son’s bike helmet is missing.  And sometimes, just sometimes, you find it in the fridge next to the beer.

{SEVEN}

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I am heading to Antiques Roadshow Salt Lake City on Saturday!  Super Duper Excited!  (I am a PBS nerd…no other excuse)  I applied for tickets back this spring and they are awarded on a lottery basis…and I was randomly selected.  Obviously not everyone who attends ends up being taped for the show, but ticket-holders do get to have two antique items appraised for free with the Antiques Roadshow team of experts.  I am bringing an antique Elgin pocket watch from 1902 that belonged to my great-great-grandmother.  Hubby wants me to take his 1969 vinyl commemorative recording of the Armstong moon landing.  I am such an history and antique nerd so this should be just like Christmas!

K, all, hope you have a great week!

{7QuickTakes}Weekly Mishmash Vol.2

So excited to link up to Kelly’s 7 Quick Takes for the first time!

ONE

Blessed to have celebrated an awesome Easter with family and friends.

TWO

My favorite Easter brunch cocktail: Mimosas, need I say more?

THREE

We’ve been moving trees at The Ranch.  Hubby was lucky enough to find a retired gentleman with a tree mover machine (known alternately as a “tree spade”) who is charging us a very affordable rate for his services.  We own over 50 trees, which we discovered (after we bought our property last year) are not quite exactly on our property. More on this annoying situation later, but in the meantime, we are moving all 50 of them to bring them within our boundaries and also spread them out a little more across our whole yard.

FOUR

My life is constantly going at a crazy jet-speed pace and I can barely keep up with my kids, let alone my pets (elderly wiener dog Winston and mouser cat extraordinaire Orca), but when spring comes and those little baby animals are everywhere I really want to get some chickens.  And goats.  And possibly a milk cow.  Sigh.  I have completely unrealistic fantasies that I am a farmer.  Hubby reminds me that it is all well and fun when the weather is nice, but I need to remember that cows still need to be milked in the subzero temperatures of winter mornings.  Eh, not so romantic sounding now.

FIVE

I am starting to keep a Word document on my computer entitled, “Things as a Parent I Never Thought I would Say”.  The most recent contribution is courtesy of my 3-year-old son, “Spike”.  (Actually, most of the contributions there are courtesy of Spike).  He was running around the house the other day, refusing to get dressed.  He wanted to play with the dress-up clothes and wouldn’t listen to me.  “I just want to be a doctor!” says the 3-year-old.  “You want to be a doctor?  Well, you have to put your on pants first, “I replied.  This led me to wonder if my grandmother had ever said this to my dad (who was a doctor) when he was a lad.

SIX

Starting to tentatively plan EUROPE VACATION 2017…Fingers crossed that this actually happens!  It will have been 13 years since my last journey to that continent and I have been eagerly waiting for another opportunity to go.  So far, just trying to narrow down the locations.  Probably will only have about two weeks to travel, and there is so much to see.  I am also slightly nervous about the current political/social climate over there, terrorist and otherwise, so we shall have to watch that of course.

SEVEN

Completely loving Lauren Daigle’s new album How Can It Be.  I never used to listen to Christian music.  I irreverently always called it “Jesus music” and made fun of it, but in the last couple of years I started listening to SOS radio (mainly because…no commercials.  But then, I also appreciate that I can listen to it in the minivan with the kids and they are not asking me about questionable lyrics) and realized, Hey, Christian music is actually good.  But Lauren’s song “Trust in You” has kind-of become my anthem for 2016.