Monday, April 30, 2012

The weekend: a shower, showers, a goal and friends


The big thing for me this weekend was I threw a shower for the girl who said "yes" to my little brother.  It was a beautiful day and Sasha seemed to enjoy it.  I'm so happy she's in our life.
My boys went to the Air Force Museum in Dayton with their dad.  A good guys day out.  They also went to Quaker Steak and Lube.  I had a girls night out to the Melting Pot with some friends, lamenting our amie Nathalie's upcoming move to Chicago.  She will be missed.  Much wine was consumed and laughs were had, and I really must get better with my photo taking.
In sporting news, there was more rain, so baseball picture day was indoors.  Zack has been wearing his jersey all weekend.  The rain didn't stop the soccer, and despite the cold, Nathan scored his first goal ever!  We were so excited for him!
All in all it was a lot of weekend to cram into one weekend.

***Note on the brownies: the character is called Domo, and he's Sha's favorite.  My sis's wonderful MIL made her famous brownies, then we used Wilton sugar paper (available at craft stores in the baking section) to cut out the mouths and teeth using clean craft scissors. 
***the "something blue" banner I used in my decor was from Brickleberry.

Friday, April 27, 2012

It was just the nicest day

Spent the morning with coffee and journal doing guilt free writing.
Was surprised at the kindergarten pickup when one of the moms came up and said "Your name is Shannon, right?  I'm the person on freecycle who wanted the pallets."  I had to crack up.  A request in my area came for wood pallets for a project.  Yup, it's something she saw on Pinterest.

She and I ended up meeting up for a playdate with the kiddos at the park.  Now the other boy is Nathan's "best friend." That didn't take long.

Took the "fun way" to the park through the woodsy area.  Saw ducklings with their mama in the stream.  Saw even more at the park---three families total.  Got over 3 miles of walking in this day too!

The boys patiently worked with me decluttering and cleaning their rooms. Didn't find the lost baseball sock, but their great attitudes more than made up for that.

Made homemade pizza on thin whole grain crust with the kids---I'm shocked that they loved it!  Best part is I calculated each square to be about a hundred calories, so this is a new staple. And it was the store brand ready-crusts too!

Settling down with a glass of merlot, the boys watching Wallace and Gromit.  Cheers!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thrifty Thurday

Okay, I'm still in purge mode, true, but it was church rummage sale week, which only happens once a year and never fails to yield good things.

So , I found the avocado green suitcase for $2 and the train case for $1!!! I've always wanted a red train case like the one my mom had years ago, and there it was. The green suitcase will be perfect for storing more vintage textiles as my existing suitcase is bulging. Proud of myself for not buying the other two green suitcases! There were also the hankis, which I use, the pillow case, the black cat, and a baggie of star wars guys for the kindergartner. Total outlay: $6.50.

In a bit of serendipity Nathan, who didn't have school today, pointed out that the preschoolers were letting out. So we popped in to say hi to all the preschool teachers and he had a look around. A fine morning all around.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A gentle reminder...

To myself when I feel like I'm being lazy or not doing enough as a parent. I think we're doing fine. And I think it is okay to say when we, the parents need our space too.

I have to add how much I love the boys being involved in scouting. It gives them a lot of unique opportunities, like sleeping over at a rock climbing gym (after climbing until 2am!) Nate cannot wait until he is officially a cub scout this fall. The leaders joke that he's earned his bear before the big boys.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Clutter Fest 2012 Continues

Here is the before and after of all my junk in the home office I share with the mister.  Yesterday I got really serious (like I said I would) and got rid of so many things that were weighing me down.  Now I have a large recycle bin (free from the shredding people Saturday!) full to the brim with craft supplies and whatnot to donate, I have a crate of things that are bound for other people (only if they want it!) a box of beautiful Mary Jane's Farm and Somerset magazines bound for my friend's mom in KY, and a bag of clothing to donate.  And I gave away my first item ever to Freecycle!  It was my old dress dummy I used for my vintage clothing photography, emphasizing that really, truly the little shop is closed.  (If I ever sell again it won't be clothing, anyway.) The space is clean and useable again, but I know this was just round one.  I also cleared out our downstairs art room (that used to be the dining room) of my scrapbook things.  The first purge is the easiest; I'll be rolling my sleeves up again in the new week.

Important things I'm learning as I go:
  • Stay motivated with good books and articles.
  • Ask the mister if he thinks something looks good on me. I trust him.
  • Let go of projects that are unlikely to ever be done.
  • Hanging on to anything to repurpose when you are still in dig-out phase is not worthwhile.
  • Hanging on to things to repurpose when you already have items that fit that purpose is also not worthwhile.
  • Keep focused on what you want to be doing with your time and space.  It makes it a lot easier to pitch whatever doesn't fit with that vision.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Purge baby, purge!

Despite having sore throats and trying to shake the remnants of our family mystery illness, we managed to capitalize on a local school's e-waste drive.  We unloaded a truckload of stuff from our electronic graveyard in the basement, including several printers and scanners, a busted UPS, old phones, a full box of documents to shred, and who knows what else really.  I'd like to say the space in the basement is empty, but the husband wants to scrub all the hard drives before we unload those.  Still, it's a start!

As a bonus gift, we were given a new, clean recycle bin.  That has become our family giveaway bin for donating unwanted items, and so far I've nearly filled it with my own things.  I've made some long-ignored decisions which are helping me get rid of the detritus of old ideas, passions and hobbies:

  • Unused craft supplies.  Seriously.  If I am struck with the overriding desire to decoupage something or make a wreath I know I can always find interesting items at the craft store or thrift.  Allowing all this stuff to accumulate just turns it into more to-do items. 
  • My remaining items from my online vintage resale shop.  It was really fun at the time, really.  But I'm done, final decision.  Reselling is a lot of work, much more than I care to do.  I've kept a few useful items for my own kitchen, but the rest will be donated back to the thrift from whence they came.
  • The last of my vintage clothing, more or less.  All the cute day dresses that are 3 sizes too small.  All the cute day dresses that look terrible on me.  All the cute day dresses that were made of scratchy weird fabrics.  You get the picture.  Again, I pulled a few items, mainly accessories, that I can really see myself wearing, and the rest will go to bless someone else.
  • Magazines that I have already read have been passed either to my pal Erin or to the waiting room at my kids' music school.
  • Books that I have read and CDs that I am bored with will probably go to's buyback program or to the local Half Price Books.
  • Paper supplies, clippings, unused and never will be used scrapbook supplies, rubber stamps and anything above the basic scrapbooking things that I use frequently, all going.
I feel so much lighter now, it's unbelievable.  Reading Clear your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston and it is a simple but profound book.  I know that Feng Shui works.  Every time I have created physical space in my home, a new passion came into my life.  It's a powerful process.

How about you?  Doing any spring cleaning?  Have junk that just ties you to the past? 

Monday, April 16, 2012


Rainy soccer Saturday for Nathan, plus rained out baseball practice for Zack.  We lunched at Red Robin, then went home to dry out for an afternoon of tv with Dad.

Sunday was so fun I forgot to take pictures!  We basically did our errand running, then spend the afternoon practicing throwing and catching with Zack.  Nate even wanted to get in on it too, although he claims to "hate" baseball.  I could feel my dad smiling from Heaven at his grandsons.  Ken said it was the kind of day that reminds you why you had kids in the first place.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Maternal Self Doubt

I've mentioned it several times this year, but now we are really down to the wire: I have just 7 weeks left of afternoons with Nathan.  Kindergarten is flying, as I knew it would.  We talk walks home, thanks to the nice weather.  Sometimes we build things from our "idea basket," like our awesome wine-cork boats above.  Sometimes we get our sketchbooks out and draw together, squished on the same chair that used to fit us both a lot better.  We play chess.  We have lightsaber battles.  The other day he showed an interest in trying out the little guitar, so I let him strum for a while.  Of course we read a little each day.  It feels all good and structured to write those things out.

But sometimes I feel like we're just not getting much done.  Sometimes he whines for video games. (We still have no game system, but I let him play Angry Birds and other free things on the computer.) Sometimes, no, oftentimes, we fall back into our terrible habit of getting "pickup" for lunch, to the point that he sulks when we don't go for the hamburgers.  Sometimes I'm just drained after school and I doze off while I'm trying to read to him.  Sometimes I try to get back to our old habit of reading a dozen books and he's bored after the first two.  Sometimes our afternoons are reduced to running needed errands or folding the darned laundry or just trying to get by.  I feel dejected on those days and I question whether I should even be home with them.

Then you have a bright sunny days like today: he was actually a bit disappointed that I had to pick him up by car.  (I was running late from breakfast with a friend.)  But he was cheerful and glad to be home.  He requested pancakes for lunch, and when I grumbled about that he was so pleasant when he said "Okay, mom!" that I had to make him the pancakes.  We had a lightsaber fight and read a few books and I showed him funny cat pictures from a website I like.  He was happy to be here with me.

I guess the point of my little ramble is I'm not perfect, no one's perfect, and it's pointless trying to be.  I'm happy with my decisions, with staying home with the boys.  I think we do a good job as a family with nurturing them and augmenting their education.  It's just that when you're in the middle of it, when you're busy living your days, you don't always think you're "getting anywhere."  Maybe it's those times we need to reboot, and re-establish where exactly we are trying to get.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Back to it

Monday morning again. Easter was great except for the strep. My break with social networking is over but I'm enjoying not over sharing plus all the free time to get stuff done. Today brings laundry and baseball practice and helping with homework.

Friday, April 6, 2012

I'll cherish the old rugged cross

I recall my parents loving this song.  Still does something to me when I hear or sing it.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

...And I know that there are angels all around

 I got to spend a little time with my BFF, Lisa, from long ago.  Her parents were kind enough to let us stay at their house.  Awesome, especially considering they were like second parents to me.  Sadly they were away but I could still feel their love---Lisa's mom even made us a lasagne before she left!

 It was incredible to be together again.

We spent some time getting to know each other's boys.  She has two, like me.

 There was another moment, I can't even describe for many reasons. I will say this: I was in a sacred space with people important to her.  I could feel my parents' spirits like crazy.  I am so grateful to have shared that time with her.

Yes, we will be back for another visit, and won't wait so long this time.

This was my 40th birthday gift.