Jun 21, 2018

CURRENTLY


There are so many things going on around here - and yet, the days feel properly slow and summery.  This combination is perfect, in my book.

We are gearing up for our second camping trip.  I am amazed at how much less stressful the packing seems this time around.  I still need to make a "master camping packing list," but even without that, I feel confident that we will be set.  It helps that we left a few things (air mattresses and campstove) stored in the under seat storage of the van since our last trip.  We also kept our camping storage / travel tote about half packed, so I had a lot fewer things to round up than I did a few weeks ago.  And, just having the previous trip in my minds' eye is really helping me to gauge what we need to bring and what we can leave behind. 

Brian spent most of last week in DC and we survived without him.  I wasn't really looking forward to his time away, but it ended up being a good week.

I have been working fairly diligently on my "rainbow quilt," but am starting to wonder if I will get it done by the end of the 100 day challenge.  I'm hopeful, but not going to be hugely upset if it doesn't happen.  I have most of my pieces pressed, but we have a busy weekend planned, so I don't foresee putting my quilt top together until sometime next week.  

The boys are signed up for swimming lessons this week and next.  So far, we've been rained out two of the four days this week.  There is plenty of rain in the ten day forecast, too.  Boo. ...although Eli has been happy because he REALLY doesn't want to put his head under the water.  

Brian and I celebrated eight years of marriage, this week.  He bought me flowers that were yellow and white - the same colors that were in my wedding bouquet.  We looked through our wedding photo album on the morning of our anniversary and watched the video with the kids in the evening.  They were more interested in it than I expected, but were ready to be done watching long before it was done.  And, we get to celebrate with a kid-free afternoon on Sunday.  

I get to meet my Bible Study friends for half-price margaritas after dinner, this evening.  We don't have regular meetings in the summer, so I've been missing them.  I'm much looking forward to catching up with what's been happening with everyone.  

That's (some of) what's happening around here.  Cheers to you and wishing you a good weekend!

Jun 5, 2018

GOALS: JUNE 2018


I really like to get these posted in the first couple days of the month, but it's been kind of crazy around here.  Good crazy, but not enough time at home.  That's pretty much going to be the story of summer, I think.  Nonetheless, there arle things I want to accompish and I like to have my own (not ALL about the kids) projects to keep my brain occupied.  So here we go with the June goals...

1 / Buy bikes for the boys.

This is a carry over from last month.  We really need to get this done. 

2 / Another month of the 100 Day Project

At the end of June I will be alllllmost done with rainbows.  I have been feeling a tiny bit less motivated about my project in this past week or so, but I have a few ideas that I am really looking forward to executing.  Motivation or not, it will get done. 

3 / Take our first camping trip and put more trips on the summer calendar.

I wrote this out last week and now that first camping trip is in the books.  It was a ton of fun and I would really, really like to get at least two more overnight trips in before Sam and Brian go back to school.  So, getting those on the calendar is part of this month's goal.

Also, the image at the top of this post was taken out the car window as we were driving to our campsite.  It's not a great photo, but the scenery was beautiful.  Brian and I were pretending we were in Ireland or New Zealand. 

4 / Finish pages for the kids' scrapbooks for the second semester of the school year. 

5 / Finish the 40 Days of Prayer sermon series. 

6 / Register for my 20 Year Class Reunion school tour and dinner.  

Eek.  I have mixed feelings about attending this event.  I'm not super excited about it, but I also know I wouldn't want to miss it.  So, we will go and just plan on having fun. 

That, plus regular life, should keep me busy for the rest of the month.  Cheers!

MAY GOALS RECAP



1 / Buy the boys new bikes.  

This was a fail...and needs to get done.  The main reason it didn't happen was because our fridge broke (first the defrosting element quit and then the water dispenser quit dispensing) and cost a pretty penny to fix.  I was determined to pay for it out of our monthly budget - rather than dip into savings.  So, the bikes will be added to the June to do list.

2 / Celebrate Maggie. 

Yes!  She turned two and we celebrated.

3 / Start and finish a "Week in the Life" project.

I took a ton of photos, I wrote a lot of words.  I shared Monday through Saturday here, but was totally burned our on the process by Sunday.  I started putting everything together in an album (digitally with the Project Life app) by the middle of the next week.  Again, I got all but Sunday done in a few hour-long sessions.  And then I procrastinated....and here we are.  Not done, but so close. 

4 / Finish the quilt I am sewing and mail it.
Done!  The quilt was for my mom and was a gift for Mother's Day. 

5 / Finish 40 Days of Prayer - and then keep going.

I'm still going strong on this and loving it.

6 / Finish six books.  

I did indeed finish six books in May and have two more in progress as I type this.  My goal is to read 52 by the end of the year and I have currently finished 30.

7 / Another month of my rainbow project.

Accomplished and still going fairly strong.  I feel like I have lost a little bit of steam these past few weeks.  I think that will pick  up again this month as I start planning a rainbow party to be held in early July and get to work on a rainbow quilt - two things I'm really excited about. 

And that was May, my friends.  

May 26, 2018

AROUND HERE




It's SUMMER!  Brian was done with school on the 18th.  Sam's last day was the 24th.  We've made the quick transition from school year routines to days that feel kind of chaotic - at least to me. Our days have been broken up with a lot of appointments, errands and commitments that we had been pushing off until Brian was home.   I have hopes that we will find ourselves a groove of sorts in the next couple of weeks.

One fun thing I got to do this last week was have book club at a Saltdogs baseball game.  Our group rotates hosting, with the host choosing location.  Most often we meet in our homes, but sometimes we will meet at restaurants and we usually have one winery outing each summer.  This was our first ballpark meeting and it was really fun.  We didn't watch much of the game, but we enjoyed beer and snacks and talking.  And we did watch most of the last inning and had the chance to cheer for the surprise win at the end of the game.

The idea of hosting a "Rainbow Party" toward the end of my 100 Day Project has been floating around in my head for the past several weeks.  I keep alternating between being excited by the idea and wondering what exactly a Rainbow Party entails.  I decided, this week, that I'm just going to do it.  I will send out invitations today and then I will be on the hook for figuring out what a Rainbow Party does entail.  I predict it will be fun - both the planning and the party itself.  (Also, Brian thinks this is weird / crazy, which it is - but that just makes me want to do it more.)


We've spent time with all three sets of our parents this last week.  I feel like this is a funny, but somewhat regular occurrence.  We seem to go through long stretches where we don't see any of them and then calendars work out just-so, andt we get to see all three.  We - Brian and I and our kiddos - are incredibly blessed with all six of these people that we love and that love us back.

Next weekend begins our Petermann Family Camping Adventures.  I'm not sure if I've written about this before or not.  Basically, we are not campers, but we decided that we want to be.  So, this week will be all about basic preparations (trying out that camp stove we got for Christmas, setting up the tent in the backyard to make sure we can do it and that we have all the pieces, etc.) and next weekend we are giving it a go.  We are only staying one night for our first trip.  We will see what things we forget and what things we bring but don't need.  And from there, we can adjust and try again.  I would love for this to become a regular part of our summers and maybe even to someday camp our way across the country on road trips.

And now we are off to yet another graduation party.  'tis the season.  Cheers, friends! 

May 6, 2018

I FINALLY TRIED STITCH FIX


Links to Stitch Fix are referral links.  Amazon links are affiliate.  

Trying Stitch Fix has been on my someday list for a long time.  I'm glad I finally took the plunge. I scheduled my first "Fix" to arrive on April 5th.  

After filling out the style and sizing profiles, I requested tops and specifically asked for a pair of shorts because my favorite pair ripped toward the end of last summer.  I also said that I didn't want a dress, jewelry or outerwear.  So, I knew I would get at least one top and one pair of shorts and then would be surprised for the other three items.  

I received three tops, a pair of denim shorts and a pair of TOMS flats.  Two of the tops were date night or church appropriate.  The third was a bit more casual - something that I would wear on a regular day at home.  

The morning I was to receive my clothing in the mail, I was putting on my TOMS flats (you can see them in the image above) and literally thought to myself, "I wish I had a pair of these in a nude or grey color."  These TOMS flats in taupe were the first thing I pulled out of the Stitch Fix box and I was like, "Whoa!  How did they know?"  

Besides the shoe miracle, I was also very pleasantly surprised at just how well everything fit.  The sizes are just right and they chose good shirts that don't hug my tummy, but also aren't too baggy.  (I'm guessing that they style for a lot of women with this same "problem area" and have a plethora of appropriate shirts at the ready.)

I had an aha moment when I realized how great it was to receive this box of clothing in the mail that didn't require even a minute of my time for shopping.  I mean, I realize this is the entire point of Stitch Fix, but it didn't really hit me until then.  It was fabulous. 

My one initial concern was the price.  I chose Stitch Fix's "the cheaper, the better" option but every item in the box was still out of the price range I would look at in a typical shopping trip.  I am willing to spend more for the occasional item, but the majority of my clothing is from places like Target or Old Navy.  Since I liked everything in the box, I decided to keep it all and take advantage of the 25% discount for buying everything.  My total bill, after the discount, was right at $200 - not crazy high, but a lot more than I am used to spending in one "shopping trip."  

I am finishing this post a month after receiving my Fix and would now say that the money was well spent.  I have probably worn those shoes 15 of the last 30 days.  I have worn one shirt once and the other shirts each twice.  I have already worn my shorts four or five times. 

It really didn't take me more than a minute or two to decide that I would keep everything.  I wondered if I was being impulsive, but now that I've found myself reaching for the clothes from my Fix over and over again, I am so glad that I kept them. 

My big takeaway: this was great!  My next "Fix" is scheduled for the beginning of July and I'm anxious to see if it will be as successful as this first one. 

Also, I found the episode of How I Built This about Stitch Fix fascinating and would recommend a listen. 

About the referral links: If you sign up for a Fix after following the link, you will get a "free Fix" (meaning the $20 styling fee would be waived) and I will get a $25 credit to use on a future Fix.  

May 3, 2018

WEEK IN THE LIFE - NEXT WEEK



I've decided to join in with Ali Edwards and so much of the memory keeping crowd to document what our family life looks like over the course of a week - and it's happening next week.

REASON WHY

I gave serious consideration to doing this project last year, but never pulled the trigger and oh how I wish I would have.

As we were living out that season - with all three kids still at home with me most of the time - I recognized that it was the end of a life stage for our family.  I knew that having a tangible memento (in the form of a photo book) and writing down the words in real time would be greatly valued by my future self.

I never managed to take the time to do it and that's okay.  But I don't want to miss this year.

Although I am really good about making weekly layouts for our family album, the details are often missing and I only manage to tell a story or two from each week.  Again, that's okay (and obviously it would be crazy to document in detail all the time).  But I want to take this time to capture more of the minutiae and to document more of our daily stories and routines. 

PLAN

Ali strongly suggests focusing on the images and the words at the end of each day and waiting to get it into an album until the week is over.  Although this goes against my natural instinct (to just jump right in with the album), it is a big project and breaking it into two separate components makes complete sense.  I'm going to stick with Ali's plan.

I have decided to use this blog as a place to capture the first phase of this project.  I will be sharing words and photos daily starting on Monday.  Sharing in this way will be a form of accountability and also will force me to choose the photos I will use for each day instead of letting that decision linger into the next week.  [Edit on 5/26/2018: I wrote and shared these posts during the week I was documenting, but have now reverted them back to drafts.]

I am planning to use the Project Life App (now free!) and my current stash of digital scrapbooking supplies to make my album.

If you are interested in what my life looks like - well, lucky you because a lot of details will be hitting the blog over the next week.  If you're not so interested - again - feel free to just skip next week's posts and I'll hope to see you back here in the coming weeks. 

IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO JOIN

Since I'm waiting to make an album until later, what you see right here is the extent of my prep work.  So.... it's not too late for you to join in on the fun!

May 1, 2018

GOALS: MAY 2018


Happy May Day, friends!  Our "baskets" are made and ready to drop off for neighbor friends this afternoon and I have some excited kids.

As for the rest of May, here are my goals:

1 / Buy the boys new bikes.

2 / Celebrate Maggie. 

She turns two this month and I've been a little slow in getting gifts and such figured out for her birthday.

3 / Start and finish a "Week in the Life" project.

The plan is to do a fairly in-depth scrapbook that covers what a typical week looks like in our family's life.  (If you are unfamiliar with this project, you can read more here.)  This is a really big and very time-intensive project and I'm feeling somewhat intimidated about it.

But I REALLY want to do it, so that's my plan.

4 / Finish the quilt I am sewing and mail it.

This is a gift and a surprise and the deadline is looming.

5 / Finish 40 Days of Prayer - and then keep going.

I started this with my small group from church and it is fabulous.  We are listening to the sermon series on our own time (available for free here, if you are interested) and then discussing at our bi-weekly meetups.  The main goals are to learn more about prayer and then to get into a real and regular habit of praying.  I am currently on day 23, so I will finish up my 40 days this month and then plan to just keep on praying.  Good, good stuff from my good, good God.

6 / Finish six books.  

I am currently a bit ahead of schedule for meeting my 52 book goal by the end of the year.  BUT, I haven't had a book that really sucked me in and kept me reading for two or three weeks - which means the current reading pace is really slow.  I have two in progress right now.  By the end of May, I would like to have finished those two plus four more.

7 / Another month of my rainbow project.

It's kind of amazing to me that this is number seven on my goal list.  I just added it after re-reading my April goals and realizing that completing another month is - of course - something I plan to accomplish this month.  I love how naturally this project is fitting in with my life, this year.  It feels more like a "thing I do" than something to cross off my to do list.  Win. 

Whew!  That's quite a list, but I think I can do it.