Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Spirit

We did our 2nd annual "Freeze Your Gizzard" 5k/1 miler the weekend before Thanksgiving (our 2nd annual - it's been around for longer than that!). My brother ran the 5k with Smith, David ran the mile with Tate, and I walked with a few good friends in the 5k. As you can see, it was a beautiful day! One friend and her husband started behind us but ended up in front of us...twice...

We also saw lots of great turkey hats - I plan on crocheting at least a couple of the one below. I did not know this guy, but he was gracious enough to let me take pictures of him!

We got down to business two days after Thanksgiving - with a looming work project, it's tree time right after turkey day, or else it's mid-December, which makes us all sad and grumpy. So we are decorated!

The kids "helping" David put the star on

Messy/dirty, but happy, girl

Saturday, November 24, 2012

On my (very giant) needles

My beautiful niece asked for a specific present for Christmas this year - an infinity scarf. Having her ask me to knit her something is like a present to me - she chose a beautiful, loose, quick scarf that I'm well on my way to making with just a couple hours in. I do feel like a cartoon character when knitting though...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The 5%

I just read this article in the Washington Post. I like it. And while I am not sure if 95% of what I do as a parent is thankless, it's certainly closer to 100% than 50%. The article talks about saying "yes" more often, and making the 5% (the thankFUL) part worth it. I suppose it's all just good to be more mindful - say yes to something different, step out of the routine, because isn't it interesting when your child recalls something from a year or more ago that had little impact on YOU, but still makes them smile? Not even the big ticket items. Not the trip to Great Wolf Lodge (although those definitely fall into the 5%!!), but the little things - Tate loves to take an unplanned walk around our little town. Both kids seldom walk Spud with me, but on a beautiful fall day, we'll go and play Monsters and Zombies at the park with the dog chasing us, and every time we do it, they recall the last time. I have no doubt they'll remember our ginko tree with the yellow puddle of leaves every fall.

Or saying yes to a $2 turn in the Hurricane tunnel at the mall. Still talked about (obviously).

I've taken a little 5% for me-time, lately, too. Bookclub meetings, friends getting together, knitting quite frankly. I recently spent a great overnight with some good friends, and ended up dancing on stage at a gay bar deep into the night, finally getting to bed by 4am. Was that part planned? No. Was it on my bucket list? No, but it is now - and crossed off, thank you very much.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pinterest and Books

Pinterest is about to do me in. Oh the ideas! But it's like Family Fun magazine - the pressure of being the perfect mom, host, cook, fashionista is more than a bit overwhelming.


This is my absolute craziest time at work - two major MAJOR projects due within 2 weeks of each other, two meetings on opposite coasts, two smaller (but just as important) projects to complete, not to mention about a gazillion other parts of the job that rest on my shoulders. I can finally take a small breath around December 12, a whopping 13 days prior to Christmas.'s my idea.

I saw a cute thing on Pinterest about wrapping 25 (already owned) children's books up, having a cozy blanket nearby, and having the kids unwrap one every night so we can snuggle and read a story. I think that will be a much needed break from reality every evening, and maybe we should also make part of it that we have a cup of hot cocoa.

Now I am not wishing November away, or trying to forget about Thanksgiving, but I need to be mindful of what really matters when I feel overwhelmed. I am fine with a dirty, messy house and no clean clothes and work getting done on the computer, with a side of cocoa and a couple of cute kids on either side. I must remember this, and ESPECIALLY do it when I feel I simply cannot. Major reset button.

Tried to link this pic to the rightful owner, but their blog has been taken down. Sorry blogger!

.Wrap up twenty-five childrens books and put them under the tree with a special blanket next to them. Before bed each evening, your kids choose one book to open and read together until Christmas.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Happiness is...

...looking around at your family and realizing all of you are wearing something you knit

...getting the great idea from a friend to keep Banagrams out for the kids to play with, and seeing what they end up writing (or creating)

...getting two things off the needles and getting ready for some holiday gifts

 ...having odd children

 ...sharing a game with my niece - virtually - who can find the ugliest shoes?

 ...going to a local Halloween park

 ...knowing your son and husband are enjoying paint ball while you are at the Halloween farm, most importantly WITHOUT you

  ...our "yellow puddle" ginko tree in the nearby red bridge park

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Where the heck did October go?

Well that month just flew by! We had a happy Halloween, Hurricane Sandy and all. That was a blustery and rainy few days, but no damage, no power loss. Unlike those along the coast and up in NY and NJ - really sorry for those dealing with extensive damage. Our town parade ended up getting cancelled, although but WAIT! The Kiwanis car was escorted through the parade route by four other police vehicles, with the Mayor in the passenger seat of the Kiwanis vehicle, keeping our 56 year tradition alive. I love this town.

David with his leafblower, getting the leaves out of the gutter. Idea Backfired! Dirty gutter water all over him.

Garage fun while Dad gets gross gutter water all over himself. They were like Kit Kitteredge from American Girl.

Smith was Where's Waldo this year, and Tate an elephant/mouse. She figured out that she could be a mouse for half the houses and an elephant for the other half, and hit every house twice. Great thinking, but we have over 200 houses in our neighborhood, and we got enough loot going through just once. 

Here's Waldo and a Mouse


Smith did a great 2 miler earlier, before Halloween, for his school. 6th graders do 2 miles, 7th graders 3, and 8th graders 5 miles. They have to pre-qualify, and the rest of their grade is there to root them on. Go Smith!

I'm looking very forward to a few "just Jill" things with friends (so I guess it isn't "just Jill", but "fun for Jill"). I'm in the midst of making a black and neon yellow/green hat for Smith - David didn't like his color choice, but he's not wearing it now is he? Then my beautiful niece selected an infinity scarf I need to get cracking on for Christmas. CHRISTMAS! Ack. 

And since it's officially November, and I should have a THANKFUL blogging month as my friend Tara is having, I give thanks for seeing my daughter play a rousing game of soccer today, with my dear son and husband coaching. 

Kids and me in my cool Parisian hat from my parents.


I will also give great thanks for my first eggnog latte today...first of the season, not first ever. I mean, come on!