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Welcome to my little haven of creative writing, passionate ranting, and thoughtful learning.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Ol' Kentucky Home, New Shoe Woes and Painted Ladies [August Learning]



We all know how this post will start: how in the month of August did I demand more? What did I learn about not accepting crap?

I stopped worrying about what someone else would think. Not all the time, and it's something I need to keep learning, but I stopped letting someone else's opinion stop me from doing what I wanted.
For years I've wanted to have a 1920's party, but I never did because I didn't want people to look at me funny for asking all my friends to dress up like flappers and enjoy 1920's cuisine and drinks.
I tried to stop worrying about what everyone else wanted from me. Does it matter if someone thinks I spend too much time introverting? No, it really doesn't.



Now onto my regularly scheduled monthly learning.

1.) Don't wear new shoes to an Indians Game.

I got new Sperry's, and was so excited I wore them to the Cleveland Indians game the next day, on a humid night walking all over the stadium and downtown. I had blisters. Really big, really painful, really bloody blisters that took over two weeks to heal. Lesson learned? Break in your shoes before wearing them on a downtown night out.

2.) Kentucky is still home.

Jace and I took a road trip to our beloved Berea the last weekend in July/beginning of August. It was so good for both of our hearts to spend a weekend at home, because we left behind a family there. By blood, our family is here, but blood is not the only thing that makes a family, and a huge part of our family resides in that little Kentucky town outside the mountains.



3.) Watching caterpillars turn to butterflies is amazing: whether you're 4 or an adult.

A couple months ago Jace and I were at the store and I let him pick out one thing. He picked out a raise butterflies kit, and I finally remembered to get online and order the little buggers. It was really cool to watch them get so big so quickly, form their cocoons, and when they first hatched and their wings were drying, we were even able to hold them. Jace surprised me by being totally fine with setting them free and watching them fly away.



4.) Nathan looks pretty cute dressed up in 1920's garb.



He even learned how to tie a bow tie for the event!

5.) Hot glue can actually melt off a layer of skin.

In preparing the cupcake toppers for our 1920's gathering, the hot glue gun dripped glue onto the surface I was working on, and I ended up with it on my finger. As I immediately tried to get it off, I noticed that skin was going with it. Not a good experience guys, I'd highly recommend avoiding it at all costs.

6.) To have a successful link up, you need an interesting topic.

I tried again this month to start a linkup, telling myself I would be okay without anyone joining because this will be an ongoing series that is for me. And guess what: someone else linked up! Success! What's fun about it for me? Now I can see what other friends and bloggers are obsessed with listening to and watching on Netflix, which is very helpful for that "What should I watch now" experience.

What did you learn in August? Share by linking up with Emily over at Chatting at the Sky!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Mom Moments (Part 7)

The older he gets, the more frequent these posts seem to be. He just cracks me up with his words and his actions.




Jace: I have to go potty.
Me: For real?
Jace: No, for regular!


*Getting Jace ready for bed*
Nathan: What stinks in here?
Jace *without missing a beat*: You do dad!


*Getting in the car after dinner, and the seat belt dinging starts because I'm not buckled yet*
Jace: I'm working on it Sookie!



*Waiting for the computer to boot up*
Jace: This is taking forever. It's still loading mom!
Me: You're still loading Jace.
Jace: Mom. Kids do not load.


*Setting Jace's butterflies free*
Jace: They are on the flower to eat connector. Are you getting enough connector butterfly?


Jace: I'm done watching shows.
Me: Then what are you going to do?
Jace: I want to play with my water balloons.
Me: You're sick, you are not going to play with water balloons.
Jace: I'm not sick!
Me: Yes you are, your fever keeps coming back.
Jace: * Exasperated* But you already gived me medicine!


*Jace is crawling on the tile floor*Me: Baby get up from there, it's dirty.
Jace: Why it is dirty?
Me: Because there is dog hair and doggie slobber, I haven't mopped yet.
Jace: Why?
Me: Go ask Riley (the dog).
Jace: *Walks over to where Riley is sitting* Riley, why you lick the floor? *Pause*
Okay Mom, I asked him.
Me: And what did he say?
Jace: Sorry.


Friday, August 26, 2016

Mommy (According to Jace)


Jace and I had a little interview: the idea being that I could get a better perspective of how I'm seen as a parent by the person that I'm actually parenting. And plus, with his little sense of humor, I just couldn't wait to see what he had to say to my questions.



What is something mommy always says?

Silence peasant!

What makes mommy happy?

Me!

What makes me sad?

Um, I don't know.

How do I make you laugh?

By tickling me.


What was mommy like as a little kid?

Um, I don't know.

How old am I?

17.

What is my favorite thing to do?

Go to work.

What do I do when you aren't around?

Go to work.

What is mommy good at?

Driving.

What is mommy bad at?

Nothing!

What do I do at my job?

Um, sort papers, and um, yeah I think that's it.

What cartoon character would I be?

Chase from the Paw Patrol, and I would be Rubble.

What is my favorite food?

Fruit.

Where is my favorite place to go?

Work.

How do you know that I love you?

Hugs.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Little Party Never Killed Nobody

I love events and I love details. I've told Nathan for years that if I thought it could support us, I would adore being an event planner.

The details of decorations and menu and a theme: it's enjoyable.

So I convinced Lindsay (it wasn't hard to do) that we should have a Roaring 20's Great Gatsby party, obviously insisting that everyone dress up.

We are both list people, so armed with a Google Doc and a Pinterest Board, we tackled the details and did the research for hosting a memorable gathering.

Decorations:


Starting with the front door, I used Microsoft Publisher to make some of my own 8x10 signs to decorate.




We had these posted throughout, most just for a laugh and to help set the tone.




Additionally, Lindsay and I stuck with a color scheme of silver, gold and black.




Music:

Interesting discovery for myself, as I started mixing together some swing music and the modern Great Gatsby soundtrack, I came to the conclusion that I really like swing.

Here's the playlist I put together for the night.

Food:


I have to give credit to Lindsay for the menu, because she is very much the foodie in our relationship.

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Tuxedo Popcorn


Wrapped Chocolate Bars


Shrimp Cocktail, Crudites with Dip and Deviled Eggs 


Red Velvet Cupcakes


The overall spread: including s'mores cheese dip, spinach artichoke mushrooms, and pastry wrapped sausages. 


Alcohol: 


And, of course, the booze had to be rather central.




Costuming:

One of my favorite parts for throwing this party was that it wasn't going to cost anyone a lot to throw together a costume. I found my dress on ThredUp for $10, and the accessories came for Amazon for less than $20. Nathan's entire costume was put together from Goodwill for under $20 as well. We used the Pinterest board to pin ideas and having the group dressed up together, well I'd say we all looked pretty dapper.








Overall, it was a fantastic evening spent playing poker, chatting, and eating way too much food. And having a group of friends that would show up dressed up as if they belonged in the '20s made it even better!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Chicago (In a family friendly weekend!)

With my position at Hyland being temporary, I don't actually have any paid time off. That certainly complicated the idea for any kind of family vacation this summer, but Nathan and I agreed that a family trip was something that we needed.

Therefore, we managed to squeeze in a three day weekend to head 6 hours west to Chicago to stay with cousins and check out the city!



There is so much more I would like to do on a trip back, especially if it were a trip without littles, but here's what we managed to do and see (and eat).

We took the train into downtown, which was much less stressful than driving and trying to find parking, and Jace thought it was fantastic. Sitting in the second level of the passenger train, he kept looking out the window and saying "It looks like we're flying mom!"



We took a detour into the Chicago Public Library to let the kids explore, and I probably could have spent half the day just at the library since it's a full 10 stories. My Disney's Belle side was coming out as I swooned over the beautiful architecture.



And then we walked all the way to Navy Pier. It was quite a trek with two littles in tow, but the boys were good sports as we walked through the city and along the lake until we arrived at the Pier.

First thought: whoever put a child friendly fountain at the entrance is a genius. Seriously. Jace was in love with playing in the water, and Carter was just adorable.



Navy Pier was honestly a little bit of a letdown. Apparently since it's been redone they've made it much more like a mall (Auntie Anne's Pretzels, Build a Bear etc.), which wasn't what I was hoping for. But the views of the city still make me believe it was worth the adventure.



After a sleepy train ride back and putting the boys to bed, the grownups decided it would be a great time to finally experience Chicago style deep dish pizza (be still my heart, it was like eating a pizza lasagna) followed by some ice cream.

Sunday morning was Brookfield Zoo, and I don't exaggerate when I say it's the best zoo I think I've ever been to. The idea is to really have it set up so the animals look like they're in their natural habitat, not the cages or small spaces that make me sad with zoos. We were only able to do about 1/3 of the park, but it's at the top of the list to go back to on our next Chicago adventure.



For me, the highlight was the bottle-nosed dolphins. We saw their show, which included a baby dolphin who was far more interested in playing and having fun than obeying commands, and Jace was in absolute awe as they leaped out of the water and splashed the audience.



Overall, it was a fabulous quick family weekend vacation, a good way to reconnect and get away from home and work, and a great time spent with cousins that we don't get to spend much one on one time with!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Things I'm Loving {August}

Each month I do a monthly learning post, but sometimes I'm in love with things that aren't exactly something I've learned. And I wanted to invite my other blogging friends to share, so on the 15th of each month I will be posting a linkup. Feel free to join and share what song you can't get out of your head, or what TV series you're binge watching till 3 am, or what food you just can't get enough of (just as a few examples!).

Here's what I'm loving right now in August:

1. Unsteady by the X Ambassadors.
It's been on repeat in my work playlists, and I cannot get it out of my head. 

2. Re-watching Gilmore Girls.
I've watched the entire series more times than I can probably count, but this time I'm watching it in preparation for the release of Gilmore Girls: Seasons. 

3. Neo-Swing Music
In preparation for a Great Gatsby themed party I worked to create a playlist and now I listen to the playlist daily. 

4. Green Tea Frappuccino
This isn't a new thing: it's always been my go to Starbucks order, but lately I've been craving them and their caffeine as I head to work preparing for more days of back to back and all day meetings.

5. Travel
Weekend trips to Kentucky and Chicago, planning out a trip to NYC and a day trip to Kelly's Island. Whether it's actually going on the trip, or just pinning and planning for it, travel is making my heart happy. 

6. Voxer
Having three way conversations with Gabby and Sarah spread out throughout the day. There's something about hearing their voices and day to day lives that just makes me feel closer to them.


What are you in love with right now? If you blog please join in the link up!