February 16, 2017

Taking Stock - February 2017

How my boys feel about snow. Pure joy. 

I am...

Feeling - Overwhelmed. Life is too busy right now, and I'm not keeping all the balls in the air. 
Watching - We are all caught up on Game of Thrones. (When is season 7?!?  I'm going through withdrawals.) Everything else pales in comparison. Blackish does make me laugh, though - actually, it makes me laugh and think, which is pretty awesome.
Wearing - The same big Patagonia coat I've had for years. Big, warm, comfy, and necessary to survive walking around Boston in February.
Appreciating - Snowy days. They are so much better than the cold and rainy ones.
Eating - Chocolate-covered strawberries and dark chocolate hearts. It's Valentine's week.
Listening - Lots of new albums coming out right now. Tift Merritt, Nikki Lane, Ryan Adams. Also, the Grammy awards inspired me to listen to Purple Rain several times this week. I need to ensure that I am fully supporting the musical education of my kids.
Wanting - More time for yoga. Always.
Reading - I just received and promptly started George Saunder's latest, Lincoln in the Bardo. It's weird and fascinating and wonderful already.
Thinking - Manchester by the Sea might be one of the saddest movies ever. It's going to stay with me for a very long time.
Loving- The homemade Valentines I received from the boys. They both take such pride in presenting me with their creations.
Anticipating - A trip north next week for winter break. Skiing in Vermont! With our best friends! I can't wait!
Planning - A trip south to visit my mom and sister during sprint break. I need to get it booked! (This is one of the many balls that I've dropped.)
Working - Too much. But really...working on tipping the scale back over to "balance".  Next week's vacation should help.
Wondering - If the next four years will all be like these last few weeks. And thinking about how I can avoid the news more, because it makes me anxious and sad. But then acknowledging that I need to stay well-informed. How can I do that and still say sane?

January 31, 2017

Recently Read


My Name is Lucy Barton, by Elizabeth Strout.
A lovely, sad, sentimental, thoughtful book. It's about family relationships, family struggles. Finding your own identity and leaving your family. The story takes place in the hospital. Lucy Barton is recovering from an operation, and her mother, who she hasn't seen in years, comes to stay with her. We listen to the exchanges between these two women, to gossip and old family stories and flashbacks, and attempt to understand the bond between them. It was difficult for me, and I found it hard to relate to Lucy, but I felt for her all the same.

The Association of Small Bombs, by Karan Mahajan.
A difficult and tragic, but definitely worthy, read. Two brothers and their friend go to pick up their family's TV set at a repair shop in Delhi, and the brothers are killed by a bomb. The book deals in the aftershocks of this horrible event to many of those impacted by it - the boys' parents, the friend, his parents, and even the bomb maker. It is beautifully written, and although I have no personal experience in that part of the world, I was transported to India and into the lives of these characters.

Wonder, by R.J. Palacio.
I'd been wanting to mark this one off my to-read list for a while, and when my fourth-grader read it with his class, I decided it was time. It's wonderful. It's the story of August (Auggie) Pullman, a ten-year-old boy with severe facial deformities. He had been home-schooled by his mother, but his parents decide it's time for him to start school. He attends a private middle school and works to adjust to middle school life. Middle school is difficult for anybody, but Auggie has to endure stares, screams, rumors, names...and he manages to do this without losing his own sense of self, humor, and kindness. The book is written from several different perspectives, and the chapters are short, making it a fast read that is accessible to all readers. I cried tears of sadness and tears of joy, and I'm happy my son loved it too.

January 30, 2017

Weekend Recap

It wouldn't be winter without a selfie from the ski lift.

I can feel the days getting longer. It's not quite as dark in the mornings as it had been. That said, we are still pretty far away from spring. It's still time to enjoy and appreciate winter. 

We had an especially busy weekend, but it felt balanced and good all around. Saturday included yoga, errands (hair cuts, grocery shopping...), basketball, and an evening at our house with good friends and their boys. We grilled steaks (yes, the grill still works in January, and no, I didn't eat a steak) and enjoyed catching up with friends. Kevin and I had attempted another alcohol-free January, but we agreed to end it a few days early to sip some wine on the last Saturday of the month. Four weeks is pretty good, right? (Side note:  I only had a couple glasses but still slept like crap and felt not-so-great the next day. I think I'll be continuing to decrease my alcohol consumption overall, because I think my body isn't digging it any more.)  

Sunday was skiing. We went to a local mountain (an hour away) and enjoyed a beautiful day on the slopes. We got home mid-afternoon and watched another couple episodes of Game of Thrones before our dinner of spaghetti and meatballs.  

That's a good weekend!

January 27, 2017

A Few Things...


Just a few things I've bookmarked recently...  Have a fabulous weekend!

How to raise kinder, less entitled kids (according to science).  This article from The Washington Post doesn't share anything I didn't already know, but it's still a good reminder. It can be difficult to think of all the things we do that influence the way our kids learn and behave and think about the world. Especially when you do some things differently than the families around you, it's good to hear the message that you're doing the right thing. (Or to be given the gentle nudge that maybe there's a better way.)

Blue Feed, Red Feed.  I hope most people know they live in a bubble most of the time. This is a good tool to review and see how differently people can receive information from social media sites. I'm helped by some conservative family and friends, but I still consciously watch/read Fox News sometimes in order to get a different perspective. It's painful, but it's important. I wish we didn't keep pushing everyone to the extremes.

What Teens Need Most From Their Parents.  As you can tell, I'm drawn to articles and studies on parenting. I want to get it right. This one is interesting and serves as a reminder that teenagers need more, not less, attention from their parents.

The World's Oldest Yoga Teacher Has Some Advice.  This woman is worth looking at for the pictures alone. They certainly inspire me to continue to improve in my yoga practice. But the words about all of the benefits of yoga inspire me too.

My President Was Black.  A history of the first African American White House--and of what came next.  A really long but worthwhile read about President Obama.

In Which I am a Little Bit of a Wimp.  I loved this blog post from Tania Kindersley.  I found myself nodding at several points while reading. The desire to be kind and to see progress without being a fighter myself.

January 26, 2017

Recently Read


A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman.
A story about a curmudgeon (what a great word that is, by the way) in Sweden. It took me a little while to get into this one, but it definitely grew on me. It's a beautiful, heartwarming story. It will remind you that everyone has a story. Everyone has struggles, and you may not understand what's going on behind the face that people show to the world.

Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine.
You have to go into this one knowing that it is poetry. If you go in with that open mind, you will be able to let the messages hit you hard and sink in. Poems, mini-essays, prose poetry...whatever you call them, they are powerful. They shed light on racism in all its forms, even/especially the small acts of prejudice encountered by people of color every day. It will open your eyes.

Paris for One, and Other Stories, by Jojo Moyes.
As I've said before, I'd read just about anything by Jojo Moyes. This one is a collection of short stories. Paris for One is about 100 pages, so more of a novella. The others are very short stories. I enjoyed Paris for One in particular, and I liked all the stories. Nothing that I'd rush out to buy or tell all my friends about, but a good entertaining read nonetheless.

January 25, 2017

Scenes from the Boston Women's March...



What a beautiful weekend. We are living in interesting and concerning times, and it felt really good to get out and do something. My sister-in-law and I drove into Boston for the Women's March, and similar to what happened in cities around the world, the crowd was much larger than anticipated. It was a beautiful sea of people, all happy to be standing together and making our voices heard. It was positive, peaceful, and powerful.  

I will admit there were quite a few signs that served to make fun of our new president (many featuring the p-word, references to tiny hands, his love of Putin, his hair, etc.); and although some made me laugh, they weren't my favorites. My favorites were thoughtful and serious and spoke to the issues we are genuinely concerned about. The same with the chants - some were more directed towards President Trump, but most were focused on the need to influence our culture in a positive way. My favorite:  "Let's go Science!" 

I came away feeling inspired and uplifted, knowing that so many out there feel the same way I do about so many issues. Let's hope we can keep that feeling alive.







January 20, 2017

January 19, 2017

Menu of the Week


I haven't done one of these in a long time. I've been stuck in a bit of a rut, making the same dinners over and over. There's nothing really wrong with that, as most of the dinners are healthy and enjoyed by all, but I do like to mix it up every now and then. I get bored, and I especially want to make sure my boys are game for trying new foods. I somehow managed to spend a bit of time looking through some of my old magazines, and I found a few recipes to try. Here's what went down last week...

Spicy Black Bean Soup
Winner! First, I love soups. They're warm and yummy in the winter, the boys generally do well with them, and they're an easy vehicle for veggies. But I hadn't tried a new one in a long time. Nathan likes black beans, so I thought I'd give this a shot. The main reason why this was a success was that he helped me make it. It was his first attempt at cooking on the stove, and he was extremely proud. I was a little worried that it might be too spicy, so I only included 1/2 of a jalapeno - I could've added more. But it was easy, super yummy, and healthy! The boys agreed that adding chopped avocado as a garnish is the best - they said sour cream made it taste too much like chili. Absolutely a keeper!

Parmesan Chicken with Mushrooms and Brussels Sprouts, Potatoes
Not super exciting, but another success overall. I don't eat chicken, so I had a salad with the roasted veggies. And I took the leftovers with me for lunch.

Seared Fish with Beets and Broccoli, Beet Greens, Rice
I used cod for this, and it was okay, but I think I've determined that I prefer a flatter fish such as flounder for this type of dish. I loved the veggies, though. I had never cooked a fresh beet, and it was pretty easy - will definitely do it more from now on, because after loathing them as a kid, I now rather enjoy them. I also sauteed up the greens with some garlic and olive oil - yum!

Red Leaf Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
This is my favorite winter salad.  Kevin and Aaron had leftover chicken with it; Nathan had a plate of sweet potatoes, walnuts, green beans, and cheese.  Works for me!

January 13, 2017

Hello...

Hello 2017!

I wish I felt quite as perky and optimistic as that sounds. I don't really jump into January - actually, I don't really jump into anything. I ease into things, I tiptoe. Sometimes I get pushed. 

I was happy to get some time over the break to truly unwind. After the Christmas fun, we had several days at home, just the four of us. Time to play games, watch movies, clean, organize, and watch more movies. I think we all needed it, although I wish I could say I felt refreshed and ready to start the new year. The days simply ran out and work/school started again, ready or not.

And so here I am, now a couple weeks in, with a whole new year ahead of me. I'm working to figure out my goals for the year, both personally and professionally. What do I want to be when I grow up? I may never know the answer to this question, and although I'm coming to terms with that, there are definitely people I work with who would prefer I have an answer. Honestly, I am really okay with the not knowing. I enjoy my work, I adore the people, I am learning, I am contributing...what more can I ask for? I've never been one to be motivated by title or money - I am not ambitious in that way. I should say, though, that sometimes I do look at people who know exactly where they want to go and are blazing the path to get there and I am envious. What would that be like?, I wonder. I'll never know.


I do love this time of year. After all the indulgence of the holiday season, January feels clean, motivating. I love all the cheese and wine and cookies in December - sooooo much, too much - and now it's easy to say that I'm done with them all for a while. And it's a good thing, too, because exercise hasn't been happening very regularly lately. 

My to-do list continues to grow so quickly that I'm having a hard time keeping up with just the task of maintaining it! Planning for the year on all fronts. On the home front, there's summer planning. Camp registrations, Drum renewal. Soccer. Baseball. Vacations. School events. Add work to that, and my head spins. 

I need more yoga. Always. Every time I find myself on the mat, I come away feeling energized, with a clear head and ready to take on the world. I haven't done any this week, but I'm looking forward to going to the studio tomorrow morning. 

We got a free six months of HBO, and we decided to watch Game of Thrones. After a couple episodes of learning the characters (so many storylines!), we were hooked. And we have six full seasons. After a few binge-sessions over the holidays, we've been watching one episode a night - we just finished season 3. It's a crazy, violent show, but it's such a fabulously complex story that's told so well. Now that I know what's going on, it's getting harder to avoid hearing spoilers, so I want to catch up with the rest of the world. It's going to take us another month or so...until then, don't tell me anything!

Happy January. Welcome 2017. Maybe by February I'll have my act together.


December 20, 2016

Ready or Not...

I love traditions. Even when they don't last very long, so many of my childhood and family memories are centered around these rituals, real or attempted. We had a "tradition" of having chocolate-chip pancakes for breakfast on Christmas morning, and even though I think we only did it a couple times before determining that a big, sweet breakfast only ruined our appetite for the remainder of the day; I still love the memory of piling on the whipped cream - they were happy mornings. Of course, it's also the rituals gone wrong that really stick in the memory - who could forget the year of the upside-down turkey? or of the extremely under-cooked pumpkin pie that my sister poured into the pan? These are the things we still laugh about, years later. 

We have so many traditions that life within our house feel so much the same every year between Thanksgiving and New Year's. I love these comfortable routines, and my boys look forward to them every year. We get the tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. We watch A Charlie Brown Christmas after decorating it. We bake and decorate cookies just about every weekend in December. We watch all the movies. We go see the Boston Pops' holiday concert. We eat lobster mac and cheese on Christmas Eve. The boys open one present that night (pjs or slippers). There are little differences that make each year unique of course, but the traditions are the reason Aaron has declared it his favorite time of year. I'm right there with him.  


At the same time, it's a busy time of year, and I am overwhelmed. I am too busy at work right now, and exercise isn't happening, which means I don't feel great and am less able to be totally present for all the good stuff. I also haven't been spending enough time with friends. I need some friend time. We went to brunch at some friends' house last weekend, and it was so refreshing to have a fun, social conversation and connect with people I care about. More of that, please.

We went to our company holiday parties, which were tiring but also fun. It's fun to have an excuse to get dressed up and go out. I bought this jumpsuit last year and took forever to get it altered (I think you need to be 6 feet tall), so this was my first time wearing it. I was late to the jumpsuit bandwagon, but I looooove it. It's so comfortable, and with heels and big sparkly earrings it's dressy, even though my legs are hidden. Love.


My son turned 10. It feels strange that I didn't record that event here yet - almost like it didn't happen. And yet, it did. He's 10. Officially a pre-teen I think, considering his relationship with his brother. (All of a sudden he has no patience for him.) He's a sweet and generous kid, though, and I'm proud of him every day. To celebrate, he had a few friends to sleep over at the house. It was fun to look at this group of boys and see the men they are becoming. So far, he's doing a great job choosing his friends.

Christmas is coming, ready or not. The cards are out, the packages to be mailed will be late this year but I know my family will forgive me; I have started the wrapping, but I haven't started the menu. Ah well, no matter...we will be ready enough when the time comes, and it will be wonderful. There will be a warm and cozy house, a tree with lights, two excited boys, good food, plenty to drink, and family with whom to spend time. Bring it on.


December 15, 2016

My Favorite Music of 2016


I love going through the music I've enjoyed throughout the year, determining which I think will become long-term classics vs. those that were special in a specific time. I love different types of music for different moods and activities. My driving music is different than the music I want to listen to when I'm alone in the house or cooking or entertaining.

When I look back at 2016, Chris Stapleton looms large. (I know his album technically came out in 2015, along with a few others on this list, but this is the year I came to know them. Sometimes I'm late to the game.) When Kevin decides he likes a band, it goes on repeat for months - Chris Stapleton was his favorite of the year for sure.

Other most-played artists include John Moreland, whose gorgeous, sad voice we discovered in Newport. Sturgill Simpson is now grammy-nominated for his awesome follow-up album, which contains beautiful lyrics inspired by his new son. The Revivalists are the band I turn up loud and want to dance around to. Whenever a song comes on that I love and need to check who it is - it's Rayland Baxter; I love every song on that album. Dawes' latest album is so different from their previous albums, and I love it for that.

The entire list of my 2016 favorites:

Chris Stapleton - Traveller
John Moreland - High on Tulsa Heat
Sturgill Simpson - A Sailor's Guide to Earth
Sarah Jarosz - Undercurrent
Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats

The Revivalists - Men Amongst Mountains
Rayland Baxter - Imaginary Man
Ages and Ages - Something to Ruin
Blind Pilot - And Then Like Lions
Kingsley Flood - Another Other

Jamestown Revival - The Education of a Wandering Man
Dawes - We're All Gonna Die
Conor Oberst - Ruminations
The Lumineers - Cleopatra
The Head and the Heart - Signs of Light

Shovels & Rope - Little Seeds
Margo Price - Midwest Farmer's Daughter
Carseat Headrest - Teens of Denial
Amanda Shires - My Piece of Land
John Paul White - Beulah

A few honorable mentions and albums I'm still getting to know:  The Felice Brothers, Lucy Dacus, Brian Fallon, and Courtney Marie Andrews.

December 1, 2016

Recently Read


Last Letter from Your Lover, by Jojo Moyes. I will read anything by Jojo Moyes. She's a wonderful writer, and she loves a happy ending. This story weaves together two couples, a generation apart, with their affairs and their relationships and their drama. I love the older story with its romance documented in letters, with a bit of amnesia mixed in to increase the tension. It might not be as great as Me Before You, but then that's a pretty high bar, isn't it?

Monster, by Walter Dean Myers.  This Young Adult book ended up on my nightstand after I received it as a part of a gift basket from our local library. (We won a raffle during last summer's reading contest.) Otherwise, I'm sure I never would've booked it up. But it's a fast and worthy read. It's written in screenplay format from the perspective of the main character, a 16-year-old who is in prison and on trial for allegedly participating in a robbery that ended in murder. Did he do it? You, the reader, will get to determine what you think after reading his words. It's thought-provoking, and I could see how it would generate some interesting discussion.

We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie. A short, smart essay about modern feminism and what it means to be a feminist today, with all the baggage and misconceptions that term still holds. It's only 60ish pages, so there's no excuse for everyone not to give it a read. Or if you're really lazy, listen to her TED Talk, which is essentially a verbal delivery of this book. She is wonderfully relatable and not at all preachy or condescending in addressing this topic, and she talks about the treatment of boys as much as women in assessing the gender divide.

November 25, 2016

Charleston, South Carolina


I didn't take enough pictures, but trust me - there are so many gorgeous streets and homes.

My mom and sisters and I went to Charleston, South Carolina for a long weekend to celebrate a couple milestone birthdays. My mom turned 70, and my little sister is now 40! We had a fun time getting caught up in person. I had never been to Charleston before, and it's such a beautiful little city. Gorgeous homes, great restaurants, a rich and fascinating history. The weather was not great - cool and dreary, and soaking wet one day - but we still managed to venture out and explore the city. The food was amazing. 

I loved getting to know the city, learning a little about its history, and I really loved getting the opportunity to catch up with my mom and sisters in person. We are all bad about talking on the phone, and it's never the same, so there was a lot to catch up on. It was also great that it was just the four of us - no spouses or kids or home responsibilities to distract us. Hopefully we'll get the opportunity to do it again at some point. In the meantime, we continue to struggle to find time to get the families together. Geography, flight times, work/vacation/school schedules, money, space...these are just some of the challenges we face. But we'll do the best we can to stay connected.

There was a lot of laughing and silliness.

Letters to Cleo


Last weekend, we went to see Letters to Cleo at The Paradise in Boston. It was such a fun show! It was great to listen to the songs of my 20s. I still remember all the words, and I sang them out and danced along with Kay Hanley and the band. Most of the audience knew all the words too. One of my favorite things in the world is to experience live music with a crowd of strangers. 

This is from the night before, in New York. This was their closing song - one of my all-time favorites.

November 23, 2016

Thankful...

My boys

I say it every year:  Thanksgiving is the best day of the year. A day focused on family, food, and gratitude. What could be better?

I am thankful for so much.

I am thankful for the new snood my mom bought me in Charleston. We are calling it a "birthday present" even though my birthday is in March. It is so soft and warm and cute, and I will most likely wear it every single day this winter.

Speaking of Charleston, I am thankful to have spent four days in that beautiful city with my fabulous mom and sisters. It had been many years since the four of us had spent time together, without kids and spouses and general chaos involved. It was lovely. We walked, rode bikes, toured historic homes, visited a museum, did some shopping, ate a ton of really fabulous food, and laughed and really caught up with each other in a way we hadn't in years.

I am thankful for our sitter. She picks the boys up from school, takes them to piano/drums/soccer/etc, reminds them to practice their instruments and to be nice to each other, plays games with them, and generally makes my life better. Oh! And she also cleans my kitchen and tidies the house each day. Last week she took everything out of the pantry, cleaned the whole thing, and organized everything on the shelves. Amazing!

I am thankful for the times that my boys like each other. Unfortunately, it isn't all the time, but there's a decent amount of love in their love/hate relationship. I'm going to focus on the love. They play soccer, trade pokemon, make up silly games, have races... When they play well together, it's beautiful to see.

I am thankful for my cute little old house. It's warm and comfortable. It's home.

We are heading to Connecticut for Thanksgiving. I have been the host for many years now, but I'm handing the reigns over to my sister-in-law this year. I am thankful for my family, for yummy food, for the opportunity to spend time together and enjoy each other's company.

November 22, 2016

What's Going On...


Election Day in Boston

I didn't mean to take such a long break from the blog. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the stuff of life and have so much to do that it becomes difficult to do anything. On election night, I watched the results come in, and once the tide started to turn in an unexpected direction, I simply couldn't look away. We stayed up too late, until just before the final call was made - I couldn't watch that. Following the election, I became very engaged online and watching the news, and after a while I realized that I had to turn it all off. It became too much. The initial shock and disappointment has worn off, but I am still overwhelmed by the number of articles and opinions hitting my feeds every day.  

It's impossible to avoid the news, and it's still necessary to remain engaged. I am incredibly saddened by the events occurring in my country right now, including acts occurring in my own town. If it's happening here, in the bluest of blue states, what must it be like for people in other parts of the country? So I will speak up more. I will do what I can to encourage tolerance and understanding. I'm honestly saddened by the voices on both sides right now - it feels like we're pushing each other to our corners rather than listening to each other. I hope that will change. I don't want these current despicable actions to become normalized, but I do want things to calm down enough for us to hear each other. 

I had to explain to my kids who our next President will be and answer their questions. Then I donated to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, called my state representatives, signed up to provide a Thanksgiving meal to a family in need, and attended a peace rally in my town. Doing something positive made me feel better, and I want to show my children that what we do as individuals matters. I'd encourage everyone to do the same.  

November 3, 2016

Halloween 2016

 

As we enter the month of gratitude and look forward to my very favorite holiday, let's not forget to document the fun that we had this past week. Between our company Halloween party, the school carnival, and of course the big day itself...fun was had by all.

This year, the boys and I decided to go as Gryffindors:  Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger to be specific.  Nathan was so excited to have orange hair!  



Of course the Stormtrooper also made an appearance and got in on the trick-or-treating fun.

October 13, 2016

Recently Read


The Life Intended, by Kristin Harmel. I liked this one. Sweet, engaging, well-developed and likable characters, and an interesting plot. The main character is a woman named Kate, whose husband died 12 years earlier. She becomes engaged to her boyfriend of two years, but she's not happy and begins to have dreams about her dead husband. These dreams lead her down a path of discovery, and that's about all I can say without getting into spoiler-territory. I wasn't quite ready to say goodbye to the characters at the end, which is always a sign of a good book.

Getting Naked:  A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty, by Patrick Lencioni.  This is obviously a business book. I've been reading more non-fiction lately, and this one is a very fast read and is very applicable to my work as a business consultant.

Americanah, by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie. A beautiful and important book. It is too long, and there is more emphasis on author's observations on race and culture than there is on the plot of the story, but both the plot and those observations are very worthy of reading. As I've said before, my favorite books provide me with a different perspective on the world, and this book definitely does that.

October 12, 2016

Weekend Recap

My handsome goalie

The sun is coming up a little later and going down a little earlier every day. Getting out of bed in the morning keeps getting harder. Having a good book to read never helps. On the other hand, the chilly weather puts us in the mood for turning on the fireplace, watching football, baking cookies. 

A few highlights from the weekend:

*Nathan played in his first soccer tournament. He and most of his friends formed a team and entered our town's Columbus Day weekend tournament. They are all second-graders (ages 7-8), and they played against third-graders. This team hadn't played together before and only had two practices, so we were a little nervous about it, but they did great! They played four games, and they ended the weekend with 3 wins and 1 hard fought loss. It was a really special experience for all of the boys, and even though it was raining all day on Sunday, it was a ton of fun to watch.  

*We made these pumpkin cookies - such a great recipe, and it's become an annual fall tradition. (Note:  Every time I make them, Kevin complains that there aren't enough chocolate chips in them.)

*My sister-in-law, a friend, and their toddlers came for a visit on Sunday afternoon. It was loud and messy for a while, but we managed to have a nice time relaxing and hanging out, even with the kids in the mix. 

*Kevin and the boys played a lot of football together. They have such a great time, until someone inevitably loses and has a tantrum. At some point, they'll learn to deal with losing, right? 

*I made this vegetarian chili on Monday. (Note:  I only used one chipotle pepper, since it was too spicy for us last time.  Also, don't skimp on the cilantro - it is absolutely the key ingredient in this awesome recipe.)

*Kevin and I watched the first two episodes of Westworld. I'm fascinated. 

October 6, 2016

Little Things...


When things don't go as planned or hoped, it becomes even more important to be able to focus on the positives. I was supposed to fly to Charleston this weekend, to spend a few days with my mom and sisters, celebrating my mom's 70th birthday. Instead, the city is being evacuated due to a big nasty hurricane, so we are all staying home. It bums me out, but let's focus on some good stuff so I don't get too sad.
  • We were able to reschedule our trip, so our Charleston trip will still happen - just a month later than planned. 
  • Nathan is playing in a soccer tournament this weekend. Because I'll be home, I'll get to watch him play - I'm pretty excited about that. 
  • It's fall in New England! Gorgeous trees are everywhere. 
  • New TV shows are starting - This Is Us certainly grabbed me, and I am also excited to see Kiefer Southerland again. Everybody's talking about Westworld - I think I'm going to have to convince Kevin to get HBO.
  • Aaron and Nathan made dinner last night - eggs, english muffins, and fruit salad. 
  • I love finishing a good book and starting a new one. 
  • Our new sitter is helping out around the house, so I come home to a clean kitchen every day. 
  • Next year won't be as full of travel as this one was, but we just booked our February ski week - fingers crossed for good weather and snow. 
  • The boys are working on their Christmas lists, and I keep trying to remind them that it's not even Halloween yet! 
  • On Monday night, I had worked from home, and the weather was gorgeous, so I suggested a bike ride before dinner. So lovely.
  • Dawes' latest album, We're All Gonna Die.  Really different from their usual stuff, but I dig it.

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