September 20, 2012

lets get organized

So this process of getting the kids' corner organized has been a long one. A few years ago I made that big chalkboard out of plywood and some chalkboard paint. Mr. Hawthorne 'bolted' it on the wall for me and that was that. I had some plastic office bins and hooks for the kids' school papers and jackets. But I didn't love the way it looked.

Then last month, I spotted a great shelf/organization system in my Martha Stewart magazine and I thought to myself, "Mr. Hawthorne can totally do that for me!"

And did he do!
First, I picked out a paint color to revamp the laundry room. Then, Mr. Hawthorne made the shelf and painted it the same color as the walls.

I couldn't wait to hang up my vintage shutters I've had tucked away for about a year (or more?), added a basket for hats and gloves and a few 'this and thats' for just because.

It looks great!
The kids' jackets and backpacks have a place to hang so they aren't all over the house which I love.

September 19, 2012

no worries

Friday morning I was stopped at a red light waiting to turn left while two young gals waited ahead of me. Their car bounced in place while they boogied on down to some crazy dance song I'm sure and the license plate cover read alumni from some college or other.

Frankly, it annoyed me greatly.

I didn't hate them for being chipper and enjoying the moment. Heck, I didn't even know them. I can only imagine they were happy because it was the end of the week, the sun was sunshiney, and neither of them were working (maybe never??). Their hair was blonde and they rocked out to some tunes together. Probably off to splurge on an iced latte and flirt with cute boys and shop at the mall reassuring each other their rear ends aren't fat in those overpriced jeans. Whatever the case may be, I was annoyed by the bouncy car and the flippy hair and be-bopping shoulders.

I sulked in my car, with the heater on full blast because I'm always freezing, waiting for the light to turn green. I thought about how just two weeks ago I checked off another birthday. The thirty-eighth birthday to be exact. I'm a stay-at-home mom with a misshapen body, bags big enough for a wallet under my eyes, an expired teacher certificate and at that very moment, feeling very, very, very tired.

The first full week with the kids back to school sort of kicked my butt and I am not really sure why. I mean, c'mon....I'm alone from 8am to 3pm for five days straight and I felt like I ran a marathon after getting hit by a semi-truck. It didn't make sense. The only logic I can make out of my bad mood was for five days I woke up at the crack of dawn after staying up late every night and hit the ground running trying to live my new kidless freedom filled days to the fullest ignoring housework and fulfilling all the back-to-school hoopla. Whatever the reason, I was in a bad mood come Friday and the two young things getting jiggy with it just added to my already craptastic attitude.

Then Saturday morning came.

It is amazing what a little sleep does for the soul my friends. I am the first to admit I am NOT a morning person. Getting a little sleep in on the weekend does make me feel better. My house was still a disaster but I didn't care. Sometimes you just have to give in. Otherwise the stress of trying to be perfect will make you go blind.

I woke up late, sipped coffee and headed out for an afternoon football game. Watching little dudes throwing each other on the ground makes for good entertainment. I told El Fuego if he got in on some tackles I would take him to the new local pizza joint. He delivered. Therefore I had to as well.

I took the family home afterwards. The long week back to school has been hard on the girls as well. And, the only remedy for them was an early bedtime. I snuck out of the house sans hubby and kids to celebrate my neighbors' vow renewal. They turned their backyard into a scene right out of the movies and it was magical. The lights, the music, the dance floor and friendly faces. Delish!

My mood was perking up.

But here is the best part! After the reception, my friend/other neighbor cruised into our local teen center to support The Boys and Girls club. The event was a Ladies Night Out. There was dancing and speciality cocktails. And, let me tell you. It was THE. BEST. TIME!!! I haven't been to a 'dance' since I don't know how long. The best part was, it was only local, super awesome women. Some more tipsy than others but that made it even more fun.

It was all over for me when Dancing Queen came on. I took a cue from the be-bobbing twinsies, threw my hands up and let loose. Hips jiggled. Shoulders bounced. Feet kicked. Rumps shook. Hands clapped. Spins happened people! SPINS!!!

It was just the kick in the pants I needed. A reset. I thought about my friends in Costa Rica. "Pura Vida" (pure life) they say. Not just words, but a philosophy. It's like "Hakuna Matata" but in Spanish. My most favorite description of this upper-left corner of the Lower Forty-eight I call home is from a recent book I read. Where'd You Go, Bernadette: Greetings from sunny Seattle, where women are "gals," people are "folks," a little bit is a "skosh," if you're tired you're "logy," if something is slightly off it's "hinky," you can't sit Indian-style but you can sit "crisscross applesauce," when the sun comes out it's never called "sun" but always "sunshine," boyfriends and girlfriends are "partners," nobody swears but someone occasionally might "drop the f-bomb," you're allowed to cough but only into your elbow, and any request, reasonable or unreasonable, is met with "no worries."

So there you go. No worries! Be happy! "PURA VIDA! my friends!!"

"Poor in things, Rich in life" is my tag line and I try to repeat it to myself every day. It's easy to feel bogged down. Pooped out. Run ragged. I'm guilty of letting the pressures of this messy life get to me I admit. However, I've decided to do myself a favor, now that I'm thirty-eight and all, and not let myself wallow in the crap. I try to recognize when my mood takes a nose dive as soon as possible and remind myself of just how freaking great a 'dancing queen' I am.

September 9, 2012

tis the season

And just like that, Fall is here. Yesterday was hot while today is dark and chilly. The weather peeps keep reporting the pending rain. At first I was mad at the lame summer we had here. But, today I have reminded myself that September/October is my favorite time of year. Kids are back to school. Leaves change colors. Sweaters are worn. Muffins and coffee are indulged in. Fireplaces are enjoyed. Pumpkins are hunted. Pies are baked. So I've decided to embrace the fact I will never be warm again!
What else does Fall bring?
El Fuego's second game was yesterday. The team's first win! And, my son has earned himself the nickname "bulldog" (secretly he loves) because of his size. It is also hilarious to me his coaches tagged him as such because I used to say he looked like a bulldog when his was a baby.


September 5, 2012

and so it begins

Yesterday was a big exciting day!! The kids met their new teachers and found their classrooms. School supplies were labeled and packed into backpacks. Everyone went to bed early too.
Whoop, Whoop!!
5th grade

3rd grade

1st grade

The moment this mama has been waiting all summer for. But this year is bitter sweet I must say. This is also the last year all three kiddos will be going to the same school, on the same schedule.
After this picture was taken, El Fuego hitched a ride with dad for his job as safety patrol. The girls and I waited for the bus.

I met them at school and got them to their lines, snapped a few more photos and waved goodbye.

They found their friends and away they went. First day of the 2012-2013 school year begins!

Before leaving the building, I tried sneaking a quick shot of El Fuego since I missed getting any photos of him while he was "working". But fifth grade boys are totally over getting their picture taken on the first day of school so a shot of his head was the best I could get. Sigh.

September 4, 2012

winner, winner, chicken dinner

What fun! I opened my email to find a surprise. I had been nominated over the weekend for the Liebster Blog award by Helen from The Flaky Fashionista. "Thank You Helen!!" Apparently the rules for this award are that it is awarded to to bloggers with under 200 followers....'check!'....and in order to receive this award one needs to answer some questions and divulge some unknown facts...'I'm up for the challenge'....and, then pass the nominations on....'I can do that'....Ready - Set - Go!
1. Why did you start to blog?
About five years ago my talented friend, Emily, shared her blogspace one afternoon and I thought it was great. Being a newly christened stay-at-home mom, in a new city and struggling with feelings of loneliness coupled with the need to find a creative something or other for myself, I decided to pull up my boot straps, saddled up, and jumped on the blogger bandwagon.
2. How has blogging changed your life, if at all?
Well, for the most part, all has been extremely positive!! However, I can't say no one has never taken my words and misinterpreted my thought process causing upsets. And, I can't say no one has never gossiped about this blog causing people in my life to write me nastygrams and hold grudges. That said, even the not so great parts about having a blog has turned out to be positive in the long run. Sure, when I was knee deep in muck and ugliness, I was angry. But it allowed me to trim the fat making sure I was only surrounded by people and things that brought me peace and happiness. Silver lining!
3. Who, dead or alive, would be your perfect four dinner party guests?
Easy! Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis because I've always admired her grace, intelligence and beauty. I even wrote a high school paper on her life and got an 'A". Still have it too. Lewis and Clark (counting as one) because I've always been fascinated by their expedition and I would love to learn more about their discoveries and hardships. Elvis Presley because let's face it, that dude was cool! And, my mom because I never laugh more than when I'm with her.
4. If you could be anyone in history, who would you be?
Hmmm, this is a tough one not because I can't think of anyone but because there are lots of people from history I would love to walk a mile in their shoes. Picking one is hard yo! But because I can only pick one it would might have to be Abraham Lincoln.

5. Why?
Although he considered himself a republican, I've always admired his work towards equal rights, liberty and democracy. And, really, who wouldn't want their face chiseled, all gigantic, on the side of a mountain for all of eternity?!
Alrighty, now the five unknown facts which may or may not be completely unknown. 
  1. I do not like ladybugs. Yes, those cute little red and black, polka dot bugs. I hate 'em!
  2. My Freshman year of college was by far my most favorite year of all my academic years. 
  3. Dirt under finger/toe nails grosses me out. And, the fact that my youngest would rather run around OUTSIDE bare footed all the live long day drives me batty.
  4. High School wrestling does require do I know? I was one. Don't laugh.
  5. I fractured my hip/pelvis and broke my tail bone from falling off a horse while running through a hay field because I passed out.  Yes, lost consciousness while riding a horse that was running. Terrible time to pass out huh?!

And, now I must nominate five bloggers that deserve this most prestigious (wink, wink) award so without further adieu I give you: