All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


Friday Favorites – A Good Week!

What a fun week we’ve had!  There have been projects and cooking and shopping and nice weather!  The week ended rough with serious wind storms that kept us indoors, but we compensated!

Favorite Parenting Moment(s) of the Week:

My boys love their trikes, and the first half of the week we had tremendous weather.  I’ve never been thrilled with our house being on a through street – people blaze down our street a lot.  I take the kids a street down and over to a flat cul-de-sac and let them ride in the street there.  I’ve learned to actually LOVE living where we do because there are rules – YOU CANNOT RIDE DOWN THE DRIVEWAY TOWARD THE STREET – and they follow that rule.  On the cul-de-sac though, I let them ride free and if we lived there, that could get tricky.  They both mastered riding down the driveways into the street (gasp!) and then asked if they could ride on our roundabouts – because you know – it’s like a race track.  In the middle of the day, there’s absolutely no traffic so I take them there and let them ride in circles.  I love watching them chase each other and pass each other on the narrow track.  They’re loving it!

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Favorite Outfit of the Week:


Oh this sweater!  I saw it on Modcloth and had to have it – so I ordered it with my first order that included a $20 discount.  It is so wonderful, so casual but tidy.  I paired it with my favorite skinny jeans (BR) and my new Born boots.  This felt like the perfect outfit for a cold, windy day!

Favorite Ah-HA! Moment of the Week:

I follow a gal who makes fabulous cakes (you know who you are!) and she made something truly magnificent this past weekend.  I showed Hottie and he, of course, suggested that I make the same cake this winter.  Ummm… no.  But it did get us to talking about the boys’ birthdays in June and I like to think ahead about the cakes.  Matthew is 100%, totally and completely into space right now, and I am going to tackle one of these in June.  I can’t wait!  I think I can do it!  I just hope he’s still into Space by then!

solar system cake _ Lincoln's 4th birthday _ Pinterest Solar Cake _ Cakes, Cupcakes _ Cake Decorating _ Pinterest

Favorite Purchase of the Week:

My favorite purchase of the week is right here – you’ve seen it.  You know!

Favorite Project of the Week:

My favorite project is, without a doubt, our exercise space.  We got mats put down and the treadmill in its proper place along with the weight machine.  I’m now second-guessing the elliptical trainer just because of space.  We’ll see.  I’m not sure how we’re going to get it into our house since it’s already put together.

Favorite Find of the Week:

I’ve missed these shoes so much!  I wore them today for an INSANITY workout and I just love them.  They make me happy  🙂


Favorite Meal of the Week:

I have been making soups in bulk for the winter.  My MIL loves butternut squash soup and I’m taking a bunch to her for Thanksgiving dinner this year (I also made a pie which is ready to go).  I finally made the soup and I bought way too much squash, so ended up with 8 QUARTS of soup.  It’s good – it’s so comforting!


Favorite Photos of the Boys This Week:

I didn’t take a lot of photos this week – at all.  I’m sort of ashamed of myself.  I did capture these two little gems though.  Bryson in his chair, looking cute, and the two of them watching a little TV while holding their trikes in their laps.  (Yes… I let them ride their trikes in the house.)

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Fandom, Not Fashion

So…. On modcloth the other day, they highlighted a pair of Star Wars leggings. They were, in two words, awesome and stupid.

I had to have them.

They’re $40 which is steep for leggings I’ll probably wear once or twice (we have tickets for the upcoming movie at our local “brew and view” theater on the 19th!). I mentioned them to my friend who’s going to the film with us and she said, “get your butt to Kohls. They have some!”

Matthew had the day off today while Bryson was at school, so we went to Kohls to find these highly anticipated leggings. They aren’t as great as the other ones, but they do the job. And there was a shirt that *sort of* matched. Both items for $36. OK!!!

Matthew asked me to wear the outfit, “for the rest of today, please.” 😁 I did not!




Something shocking happened this morning at Preschool drop-off.  It was so shocking, that I stood there for a moment, not knowing what to say.

Scene:  I am walking the boys in, helping Matthew hang up his backpack in his cubby.  Bryson is actually behaving and staying close to us.

My Favorite Preschool Mom (MFPM):  “Courtney, why is it that every morning, you come in showered, hair done, and dressed and put together for the day?  I just don’t understand it, and it’s every day!”

Me: Pause, confused look, thinking ‘is there another Courtney in the hallway?’

Me:  “Are you serious?  This is the first day in the last two weeks that I’ve showered and dried my hair before school.”

MFPM: “Well, it sure seems that it’s every day.”  Smiles and laughs.

Another Preschool Mom (APM) laughs with MFPM and agrees that I have my shit together, or so it seems.

Me:  “Do you want to know something, MFPM?  I think the same thing of you every morning at drop-off!  And then most days, you come to pick-up in different clothes, and I wonder if you showered and got ready twice in one day!”

APM:  “Funny, I’ve noticed that about you too, MFPM!”

We all laugh together and I say, “Isn’t it funny what our perceptions are of one another?”

Everyone nods and laughs, and probably thinks to themselves, “hmmm… interesting.”

This, RIGHT HERE, is an example of how we see ourselves, how others see us, and how we see each other.

Powerful stuff, and even more powerful since it was all in good fun!



Productivity Times Two

Hottie and I are two peas in a pod when it comes to purging and organizing.  We both have our own quirks that drive each other crazy (he wants NOTHING on the floor in the store-room – everything must be in tubs and on shelves, and I must have all of my holiday decorations put away by the weekend after the holiday or I’ll lose my mind), but for the most part, if one of us is in the mood to purge and organize, the other one follows right behind.

We spent Saturday at Hottie’s parents’ new place picking up the metal shelves I’m selling, discussing what we can do to help, planning what we’ll pick up next, etc.  We brought their truck home with us loaded with the Hoist weight machine and the 4 metal shelving units.  They asked me to sell some old family steamer trunks from the 1800’s so I took photos and got them posted in the evening after cleaning up the shelves and dreaming of where I’d put them if we kept them all.  We planned out the exercise space and decided what to keep and what not to keep (Matthew loves the elliptical trainer, so Hottie agreed to it – yay!  We decided to keep it all and get rid of nothing).  Sunday was all about getting the house ready for the elliptical trainer to come into the house next weekend or so.

As we ate dinner, the steamer trunks sold (within 3 minutes of posting them for $100 together – they’re staying together and going to a friend of mine!) and so did some ancient picture frames from the 1800’s that were in rough shape.  We didn’t bring the trunks home with us so now that they were sold, we had to get them here.  Hottie’s parents offered to come and pick up the truck on Sunday and we agreed (we would never have allowed them to drive down to pick up the truck that they loaned to us – we would have returned it) so that they could bring the trunks.  They were thrilled with the news that they were going to a loving home.

We decided that the exercise room was not going to be the exercise room.  It just isn’t big enough for everything and neither is Hottie’s office (we’d thought about moving his office to the current guest/exercise room and making his office the exercise room).  The kids’ play area, however, was definitely wide enough for all of the equipment.  Hottie researched flooring mats and a new light while I kept selling stuff on FB (seriously, it’s amazing what you can, and can’t, sell there).  It was a productive night.  New mats and a ceiling light were on the way, and we made $105 for Hottie’s parents!

Sunday.. oh Sunday.  As we went to bed on Saturday, I told Hottie that I wanted to get the Halloween stuff put away on Sunday.  He said oh sure, yeah.  He didn’t hear me.  HA HA!  When we got up early on Sunday, we got to work and I went straight for the Halloween stuff.  He went straight for the basement.  We were not on the same page.  There were words on priorities, a bit of a bicker, and then we headed to breakfast to cool off.  We met Hottie’s parents for breakfast and they came to our house, dropped off the trunks, and insisted on helping us move the treadmill.  We got the treadmill out, some of the kids’ stuff in, and his folks took off.  My friend picked up the trunks as I wrapped up the Halloween clean-up and we were ready for a serious overhaul of the basement.

We moved so much around, oh my goodness.  We had a train table (actually a coffee table doubling as a train table) at the bottom of our stairs that moved into the guest room/den to serve its rightful role as a coffee table again.  🙂  We moved Matthew’s little desk, my grandpa’s old wooden crates, and the kids’ wood kitchen into the guest room/den.  We moved the dining table and chairs into the theater room so we can eat dinner and watch movies together in there once in a while (I’ve wanted to do this for a long time!).  We moved the real train table and the Lego table to the space behind the sectional where the table and chairs used to be.  We put the treadmill and the weight machine in their new location as we wait for the mat, new light, and elliptical trainer to arrive.  And… the gate at the top of our stairs is GONE!  That alone is birth control – I cannot take another 3-4 years with that gate at the top of my staircase!

Both nights, we had awful dinners.  We had frozen pizza (doctored up) on Saturday and BBQ takeout tonight.  But… that’s a small price to pay for getting so much done!  And… I got a slow run in tonight in the new exercise area.

We’re ready for bed!

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Friday Favorites – Busy Week

Everyone is on the mend here, and I’m so glad that Hottie went to the doctor and got some antibiotics for me in addition to his.  I needed them.  I can’t believe I felt so awful for 3 weeks.  Ridiculous.

A lot happened this week, and a lot stayed the same.  Just how I like it!  Here are my favorite parts of the week!

Favorite Parenting Moment of the Week:

This will be repetitive because the photo is now my header image, but there’s a story behind it.  We have had even more gorgeous weather here (70’s) which means “park weather.”  I took the boys to their favorite park (“the blue park”) because they requested it the other day.  They played together so well and there’s a little creek in some woods right next to the park where they like to go for little hikes together.  I always like to take photos of them back there because it’s quite beautiful.  A lot of the times, Bryson is on the brink of hurting himself as I’m snapping photos.  This moment was one of them!


I was hollering at Bryson to be careful as he got closer and closer to the drop off and Matthew was right there to watch over him.  He literally grabbed his arm and pulled him back.  Good boy!  I love watching them take care of one another!

Here are a couple of other photos from the park that I liked!

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Favorite Outfit of the Week:


I ordered this shirt from Modcloth the other day because every person who blogs wearing their stuff looks super cute!  The shirt did not disappoint!  I paired it with my BR skinnies (the ones I don’t like) and my Ugg boots and was out the door today.  I even wore some gold toned jewelry to go with the buttons on the sleeves.  I’m getting better at this every day.  HA HA!

Favorite Family Time of the Week:

We had a ROUGH Saturday last weekend.  The boys were a wreck, Hottie and I were at the ends of our ropes, and DST was coming up that night.  The boys were so naughty that we thought of not taking them to the annual Halloween event at the local farm here (Living History Farms – a true gem in the Midwest and something we’re so lucky to have!).  I, however, said that we couldn’t take that away because it would be like taking Santa away from them as punishment – the Farm is an annual Halloween tradition.  So we went.

As we were riding the horse-drawn wagon in the darkness, Hottie turned to me and whispered, “I’m really glad we came tonight.”  Me too, Hottie, me too!

(Terrible picture… thanks to our super reflective costumes this year!)


Favorite Purchase of the Week:

Tickets for a NYE bash.  But it’s not just any bash, it’s the grand opening of my cousin’s new jazz club downtown which is the most anticipated opening of the year here in our city.  She and her husband are the guardians for our kids, and one of the reasons they are is because they are so good at following their dreams.  They make shit happen – and they are making something very exciting happen here in DSM!  I am so excited to be a part of it!  The party has a roaring 20’s theme so I already ordered my dress (Modcloth) and am working on hair and shoes.  My best friend is coming with us and she ordered her dress too.  We’re so excited!

If you’re curious, check out their site!  Noce!

Favorite Project of the Week:

So, I’m Matthew’s home room parent this year again, but with another mom who is a friend of mine.  We both have been “talked to” about making the holiday party craft projects too difficult for the kids (whatever!).  We nailed it for Halloween and as I was planning my kids’ advent activities for this year (making a new Christmas decoration every day until Christmas), I thought that one of those activities could be great for the kids’ holiday party.  I tried it out, and with some simple preparation before the party, we can TOTALLY do this!


Favorite Preschool Art Project:

This kids’ open house at school was on Monday and as we were walking through Bryson’s room, I kept my eye out for his art projects.  I saw a wall of pumpkins and wondered which was his.  Working left to right, I wasn’t seeing his… and then I did.  Our son’s pumpkin was the only one that wasn’t the traditional pumpkin with two eyes, a nose, and a mouth.  Ours had multiple eyes, no nose, and very little paint.  This kid obliterates boundaries, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!


Favorite Realization of the Week:

Sometimes, the big kid still needs a nap!


Favorite Moments with Matthew This Week:

Favorite Text Message This Week:

From my friend, Denise, who is also our family photographer.  She took our family photos two weeks ago and she sent me a sneak peek.  I’ll post the real photos once she’s done with them… she has lots of work to do getting Matthew in the photos looking at the camera.  She’s good at Pho.tosh.op!

(She sent photos of her computer screen – hence the stripes.  I wasn’t wearing funky tights!)


It’s Time…

… for a dedicated fitness blog.  I know that most of my parenting readers don’t care about my fitness challenges and stats, and the people who follow me for fitness reasons don’t care about my challenges and joys as a parent (or the newly-indoctrinated fashion-obsessed woman I seem to have become).  Three health/fitness companies have reached out to me to post for them and I always say no, but I finally said one to one of them and I hesitated a LOT.  I don’t want random people reading my parenting/personal blog.


Here’s my fitness blog, in case you want to follow along.  I will try to move the fitness stuff from here to there and will probably rarely cross-post.  I want to keep the two identities/themes separate!