All the Sun For You

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


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Friday Favorites – Fun Week!

When I went to select my favorite photos from the week, I was stunned by how many I had!  Last week, it was hard to find enough for this post, and this week, I found way too many!

Favorite Parenting Moment of the Week:

It has been a week of “snuggle buggles!”  Both of my boys have been very affectionate this week with both of us, asking for “snuggle buggles” and hugs and kisses all day long.  I’ll take as much of this as I can get, because I know that they won’t want me to love on them forever!  Bryson wants his snuggles after his daily nap, and Matthew wants them just before bedtime or right after he wakes up in the morning.  I caught a couple of these moments, one with each of them.  I feel lucky to have these!

Favorite Realization of the Week:

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Matthew is so creative, and this week, we found out just how wild his imagination is!  We got a huge box from Amazon this week and it is sturdier than normal, so it’s lasted a LOOOOONG time in the house.  Matthew works on it daily, making it into an “ice cream robot” and he asked us for paper towel rolls for the arms.  Hottie brought a bunch home from work (don’t ask me why they had so many there, I don’t know) and Matthew got to work.  I have no tape left in the house  😉

Favorite Meal of the Week:

Whenever I go back to basics, we have a great meal.  I made curry bison burgers tonight, paired with roasted sweet potatoes.  The sweet potatoes are new – Hottie brought them home and I was going to mash them (like always) but he asked that I make them the way I make all of our veggies (tossed in olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and put in a hot, hot roasting pan).  They were delicious and they were perfect with the bison burgers.  We were both so happy with dinner that we finished it off with an ice cream bar dessert!

Favorite Purchase of the Week:

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I received a coupon code for a free metal photo ornament from Shutt.erfly because of my heavy usage of Bing, so I ordered one for the first time ever.  I love it so much – it warms my heart every time my eye catches it.  I love it so much that I’m having them made for all of our years with kids so far.

Favorite Project of the Week:

This one is a no brainer – our advent calendar project!  I am having so much fun with this and the kids are too.  Sure, there are rough moments, but all-in-all, the kids are loving it and every time I say, “let’s do our project!” they come running screaming with glee.  It’s actually quite unreal – they’re enjoying it way more than I thought they would!

Favorite Daddy Moments of the Week:

Like I said, these boys have been super affectionate this past week.  Matthew has been getting a lot of bloody noses at night and comes into our room in tears, needing help getting cleaned up.  Of course we let him climb into bed with us and we all snuggle.  Hottie and I don’t get much sleep, but there’s something magical about sleeping next to your child.

And straight from FB:  “This is evidence that a 4-year old cannot keep a Christmas present secret. I took Matthew to target today to pick out his gifts for Daddy and Bryson. Before Hottie was in the door, Matthew announced what his present was and, when we gave it to Hottie, Matthew shouted to Bryson, “AND I GOT YOU A HOT WHEELS TRACK WITH GRAVE DIGGER AND A DINOSAUR!!!!!”  Matthew is a giver, not a receiver, and he gets so excited about giving gifts to people that he can’t hold his horses.  He is just.like.me.  He cannot keep a secret (or lie).  It was the cutest thing ever and I just melted!  All three of my guys got to work on “Daddy’s present that he’ll share with us” and played mini-hoops until dinner!

Favorite Workout of the Week:

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It’s been a rough week here, some devastating news came our way.  I REALLY needed to get out and run OUTSIDE and the day after receiving a tough phone call, the clouds parted and the winds stopped.  I went for a 5 mile run by the boys’ school and really didn’t know where I was headed when I took off.  I did an out-and-back for 3.1 miles and then wanted another 2 miles, so headed one way from the school for a mile.  I was really hurting after 0.6 miles out but for some reason, kept pushing.  Just as I was about to turn 1.0 miles, I looked up and realized I was right outside the cemetery where my friend’s nephew was buried in September.  I ran into the cemetery, turned off my music, and had a chat with Sam.  It was peaceful, it was calming, and my soul felt better.

Favorite Photos of the Boys This Week:

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Friday Favorites – Holiday Season is On!

We’ve had a pretty darn good week around here, but there have been sprinklings of sadness along the way.  In times like these, I like to really focus on the good stuff, the stuff that keeps my heart happy.  With these two boys, Hottie, and the Thanksgiving holiday, I’ve done a pretty good job of keeping my head up while my heart’s been heavy.

It was another productive week around the house.  We’re getting pretty good at starting and wrapping up projects within a weekend.  Our garage is organized (enough), more stuff is sold, a Christmas tree was chopped down and moved in, and Bryson’s car seat is now properly installed.  That’s enough for one week, I think!

Favorite Parenting Moment of the Week:

My boys get along really well, until they don’t.  Recently, there’s been a lot of nit-picking and fighting over ridiculous things (and so it begins, right?).  One of the things that makes them absolutely CRAZY is the little trike we let them ride in the house.  It really is Bryson’s because it’s his size and Matthew has a bigger one that he fits better on, but they both love to ride the little trike and will stop at nothing to get a chance at it.  Bryson is very possessive and likes to HOLD his trike in his lap when he’s watching TV.  This does not count as being in his possession or use so Matthew will often times walk right up and take it from him.  So the cycle begins.

But the other day, they were fighting over the trike and then… silence followed by… laughter.  They came in riding together like this, and now they do it every day, many times a day!  No, it’s not terribly safe and yes, Bryson’s head comes to many dangerous spots at that level, but they’re having fun together and solving their own problems without us.  WIN!

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Favorite Outfit of the Week:

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Hottie’s coworker texted me on Saturday morning and said she was picking me up for an in-home craft show right near our house.  It had snowed, we were snowed in, so I said, “yes please!”  Once there, she bought nothing and I bought this awesome orange shawl.  I absolutely love it and it is WARM,  but of course, it started unraveling that night.  It’s currently at the tailor’s being fixed making my “craft show shawl” even more expensive than I wanted to report here ($40 for the shawl, $7.50 for the fix = $47.50 for a blanket with a hole for my head).  But… it’s my favorite color and I really LOVE it!  Paired here with EB straight leg jeans and Born boots (along with an ancient Ann Taylor brown turtleneck).

Favorite Meal of the Week:

This one is easy – Thanksgiving (Thursday), of course!  Hottie’s parents do not enjoy cooking like we do, and if you’ve read me long enough, you know that holiday meals are not as tasty as I’m used to having been raised by a guy who loves to cook.  Every year, Hottie and I take more and more on and this year, we covered LOTS of bases!  We brought homemade coffee cake (baked the night before to save time), homemade apple pie (baked a month ago and frozen), butternut squash soup (made and frozen 2 weeks ago), and peppermint and mint-chip ice cream bars (made two days ago).  When we got there, we cut into the coffee cake and then we basically took over the kitchen and cooked together for a couple of hours.  We didn’t want a dinner without gravy so we winged it with a milk gravy recipe I found online and it turned out great!  I’m not sure how ONE person could have made the gravy – it was THAT complicated – but that doesn’t matter since there were two of us.  We finished up the turkey, casseroles, and stuffing and made mashed potatoes – dinner was served (oh, and we brought wine… lots of wine).  Dessert was an hour later and along with the pumpkin pies and peach pie that Hottie’s mom made, we had lots to choose from.  All the kids had my ice cream bars, I had apple pie and half an ice cream bar, Hottie had pumpkin pie and apple pie, and Bryson had “crunchy cake” (coffee cake).  Everyone was HAPPY!

Favorite Purchase of the Week:

This is stupid, but I just love this shirt.  Target – mens department – $8.00.

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Favorite Project of the Week:

I wasn’t even a part of this project, but got in on the tail end.  On Wednesday, Hottie and I decided that Matthew needed an outing with just his dad, so they went to the tree farm.  I am told that once there, Matthew took his job of picking out the tree very seriously and grabbed his measuring stick before heading out on his hunt.  He found a great tree after much deliberation and insisted on helping the dude load it up on the truck.  Hottie said that Matthew watched very carefully to make sure that our tree made it back to the parking lot where they tied it to the roof of the car (there is just something so festive about that!).

They then headed to the mall and that’s about when Bryson woke up so we went there too to hit up the PBKids 20% off sale for Bryson’s comforter.  As we pulled into the parking lot, Bryson yelled out, “It’s a Christmas tree car, Mom!”  He spotted OUR car with OUR tree on top, but didn’t know it was ours.  It was adorable, and fun!  We took photos!

After playing at PBKids, eating dinner together as a family at chick-fil-we-hate-gays, and checking out all of the super fun mall kiosks (groan), Hottie decided to take Matthew on one more errand and I kept Bryson to pick up a very special gift.  It took FOREVER to get Bryson to the other end of the mall without a stroller, but we had nothing but time.  He spotted the mall strollers in the shapes of fire engines and, well, we were there for quite a while playing firemen.  I forgot how easy and fun it is going to the mall with just one kid!

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Favorite Realization of the Week:

This is a big one… and one I’m not proud of.  We decided to turn Bryson’s car seat around to be front facing (yes, I know the research, please don’t send me resources) and his seat is different from Matthew’s and the Britax.  I absolutely despise his seat, but it was the best option at the time (I needed a full convertible from infancy to 120 pounds in a booster.  I LOVE Matthew’s seat but it has a 30 pound weight minimum and is forward facing only, and we needed this seat when Bryson was less than a year old).  Anyway, I installed it and forgot that I wasn’t installing one of the easy seats, and I installed it WRONG!  Not only did I not thread things properly, I also didn’t know about some extender that needed to be put on his chest straps.  We drove to and from Hottie’s parents’ house (1 hour each way) on Thanksgiving with our child in an improperly installed car seat.  Good God.  The only reason I even thought about it was that he couldn’t sleep in it, it was tilted too far forward, so I researched the recline.  Turns out, it was all screwed up.

So – his seat is not properly installed and no harm no foul… but I still hate that seat!

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Favorite Photos of the Boys This Week:

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Favorite Twinkle This Week:

One of our trees is up and decorated!  Matthew insists on decorating every single night, but we’re not fully ready yet.  So… I got out his little tree and set it up for him.  He lost interest quickly, because he said his tummy hurt from all of the food.  Bryson and I lit and decorated the tree for him and an hour later, Matthew spewed all over my bedroom floor.  Huzzah!

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Friday Favorites – Blah

I did a TERRIBLE job of remembering my favorite things of the week.  I snapped some photos here and there, but I must have been in a funk.

Favorite Parenting Moment(s) of the Week:

Straight out of my FB post:

My kids do really well at the mall until… I’m in a line. They both lost their minds as I was ordering their Chipotle and the guy behind me told me how much Matthew reminded him of his son… And that it really does get easier every year. Truly what I needed to hear (it’s usually men who say the right thing in situations like this). We chatted, I thanked him for his kind words, and we went on our way. Until he came back 10 minutes later with a cookie for each of the boys, saying he waited until he saw that they ate a good lunch. He told the boys to be nice to their mom the rest of the day. And then Matthew said, “that man is very nice!”. Yes… Yes he is.

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This parenting moment reminded me that we have ALL been there, and that the only thing to say to other parents in difficult situations is that… we have ALL been there and that they’re doing great.

Favorite Outfit of the Week:

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Here are those camo leggings again, and the “Don’t Shoot” bear shirt… but I edged it up with buckled tall black boots and let me tell you – I looked badass.  I got a few, “whoa, edgy, love it” comments from the moms.  😉

Favorite Family Time of the Week:

Our weekend was soooo busy with family!  My aunt and her guy were in town on Saturday for a visit.  The boys LOVE them like grandparents – well – differently than grandparents because they are so young at heart and act like kids with the boys.  They do everything with my kids that my parents don’t.  They are engaged, loving, and fun, fun, fun!  I took these quick photos of the boys dancing with them outside our favorite restaurant!

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We headed to Hottie’s parents’ on Sunday for his dad’s birthday.  The boys and I made him a chocolate cake with super rich ganache frosting.  The boys decorated it and we headed up, made lunch for everyone, had cake, and over-stayed our welcome (not really, because they are never ready for the kids to leave).  Hottie’s parents are everything my parents aren’t, and the boys feel sooooo loved by them.  We love going there!

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Favorite Surprise of the Week:

New Year’s Eve is almost around the corner and I have the dress and earrings, but no necklace.  I have been shopping for something to match the earrings and just could not find anything cheap.  I do have an old marcasite Judith Jack necklace but the style doesn’t match the earrings.  So Hottie and I started searching on Ebay for something that would match the earrings and we found something that I LOVED, but it was more money than I wanted to spend.  I really wanted to spend $20.00 max.  HA!

So Hottie said, “just get it,” and I said no way.  There was no way I’d spend more than I wanted to spend on a necklace I’d wear just a few times.  I had the necklace in my watch list and headed to the mall to search for something cheap (again).  NOTHING.  I was lamenting my frustration to Hottie via text and he wrote, “by the way – I already ordered your necklace.”

He is still so thoughtful after 9 years together!  He said he knew I wouldn’t spend the money, and he didn’t want me to have to worry about it so he got it.  My heart melted!

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Favorite Workout of the Week:

I live and breathe my FB feed – but I don’t pay too close attention to where the posts come from.  I saw some fitness challenge and assumed it was for the fitness group I’m in, so I did it.  It.Was.Not.Easy.

Again, straight out of FB:

So I saw a daily challenge in my feed, and assumed it was from this group. So I did it. Turns out, it was a photo that Jos was tagged in, not a challenge here. But I found that out too late. PiYo Core done (30 minutes), and then I did the Name Game thing, where you get an exercise assigned to each letter of your full name. I have a long ass name. Here’s what I did:
30 Squats
40 jacks
30 second arm circles
15 Push Ups
15 Squats
25 Burpees
1 min wall sit
10 crunches
30 squats
1 min wall sit
30 squats
30 jacks
3 min wall sit
15 push ups
40 jacks
30 burpees
50 jacks
2 min wall sit
15 push ups
30 burpees
40 jacks
30 burpees

Took me 27 minutes, and burned 200 calories, so I added 3 minutes of abs to get me to a full hour today. I’ll be doing that again!

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Favorite Quiet Moment of the Week:

We had a busy weekend and the drive home from Hottie’s folks’ put both boys to sleep.  I took one, Hottie took the other.  This never happens, and I really eat it up when it does.  Double quiet loves at the same time!

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Favorite Photos of the Boys This Week:

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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:

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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!

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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  🙂

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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!

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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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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!

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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:

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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!)

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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!

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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!

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Favorite Realization of the Week:

Sometimes, the big kid still needs a nap!

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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!)


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Friday Favorites – From a Rough Week

We have all been sick for 3 WEEKS.  Bryson got a one-way ticket to the doctor the minute they opened for walk-ins at 7:45 on Tuesday because his eyes were crusting over for two days every time he slept.  He has a sinus infection and the doc put him on antibiotics.  His eyes are better, but he’s got a fever today – awesome.  Hottie went to the doctor on Tuesday because both of us are so down and out every night with a wretched cough and it turns out we both have bronchitis.  We’re on antibiotics.  Matthew has a nasty cough, but otherwise, is fine (after a major fever and puking last Friday night)… for now!

But there were a few shining moments…

Favorite Parenting Moment(s) of the Week:

For the first time in my life, I made caramel apples!  I’ve never wanted to do it – but something got into me (or out of me… ummmm… BCP from hell for 20 years) this year and I bought the apples while preparing to make my winter stash of apple pies (3 large in the freezer, 1 oh-so-cute-mini-pie).  I didn’t short-cut it with the caramel wraps either – I bought the caramel cubes and melted them on the double broiler with Bryson’s help.  Bryson LOVED stirring and then watching me cover the apples.  He had me dip them in the sprinkles, but he kept a close eye on me to be sure I was doing it right.

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No one ate my apples, besides me.  They were good.  I had 2 in one day, gave one to a little girl who visited with her mom, and did myself the favor of tossing the other one out.  I really felt like I was maximizing the holiday spirit of fall by doing this, even if the kids could have cared less about them.  HA!

Another favorite parenting moment happened this week as late on Friday as it could have happened.  After trick or treating, Matthew wanted to take his glow stick to bed with him, and of course we said yes.  When he falls asleep at night, I can’t see his face because it’s so dark in his room and because he wears his Hawkeye hat to bed and the bill shadows his face.  But tonight, his glow stick lit up his face under the bill of his hat and I got to watch his little eyes drift off to sleep.  It felt magical.

Favorite Outfit of the Week:

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I waited forever for this shirt from Etsy.  It was worth the wait!  I love it, and I love the thin sweater under it.  I bought the thin sweater for our Christmas photos that we had taken on Sunday, and it turns out it’s quite versatile and turns my short-sleeved shirts into winter fashion.  The boots are new, also bought for family photos, and they could not be more comfortable.

Favorite Family Time of the Week:

Hands down, my favorite family time spent this week was at the pumpkin patch!  Hottie had taken Matthew to this small pumpkin patch just the weekend or so before, but we hadn’t gone as a family yet to a local patch and time was running out!  It was windy – gusts of 30 mph – but it was fun!  We got the obligatory apple cider donuts, went on a tractor wagon ride, and picked out some gourds.  It was great!

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Favorite Purchase of the Week:

I bought frames for my paintings!  I had to get a custom one for my hummingbird painting because of its size and when I picked it up today, the framer taught me how to frame my own canvases.  I grabbed a couple of frames for the two sizes I knew I had at home and anxiously tackled the project the minute I walked in the door.  Framing the moose painting took it from my least favorite, and one I’d considered just putting in the closet and painting something different for his room, to, “Oh my god, I freaking LOVE it!”  I knew the plane would look great framed, but I did not expect to love the moose so much!

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Favorite Project of the Week:

As everyone URL and IRL knows, my favorite project of the week has been preparing to sell my in-law’s vintage finds!   We’re headed there this weekend to take better photos, get some measurements, and plan my work!

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Favorite Fa.ceB.ook Flashback:

FB doesn’t always give me a “two years ago…” memory and honestly, I can’t figure out when they do and don’t do this.  But when this little gem popped up, I melted.  I instantly made it my lock screen photo on my phone.  This is my favorite photo of Matthew from babyhood, I cannot get over it.  Getting this little pop-up memory encouraged me to print a my.so.cialb.ook for the year Matthew was born, and I think it arrives Monday (I paid for rush shipping, I was feeling so nostalgic!).  I am so excited to take the time to page through the first 6 months of his life!

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Favorite Realization of the Week:

Sleep begets sleep.  YES, I was told this over and over and over again while trying to get my kids to sleep longer and longer, but this was not true for Matthew.  The earlier he went to bed, the earlier he got up.  We’ve only noticed since dropping Matthew’s nap that going to bed earlier is not making him get up earlier.  We’ve been progressively moving bedtime back for both boys and have landed at 7:45 for Bryson and 8:00 for Matthew (he’s dozed off by 8:15).  I don’t know if it’s the recent sickness for Bryson, but he has finally gone from a 5:30-6:00 riser to a 6:30-7:00 riser.  He slept until 7:20 yesterday, a good 10 minutes AFTER Matthew woke up.  Bryson has never slept longer than Matthew – NEVER.

Of course, Bryson was up at 6:20 this morning (Saturday) but he did sleep 2.5+ hours for his nap yesterday so I’m not concerned.  He’s gotten a lot of sleep lately.

I fully expect DST tonight to mess this up for me.

Favorite Photos of the Boys This Week:


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Friday Favorites – Discipline!

Here they are, my favorites of the week!  Knowing that I’m writing this post each week, I’m trying to be (and succeeding at being) aware of the good things each day.  I feel like this is a little “gratitude journal,” which is always a good thing!

Favorite Parenting Moment of the Week:

Grocery shopping with Bryson – for an hour – with no fits or frustrations from either of us!  Check this out!

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I usually put him in my cart, but that just isn’t working out these days.  He screams, fusses, tries (and succeeds) to climb out, and then I lose my shit.  I had a TON of groceries to buy for the week (it’s fall, remember?  Soup, Pies, squash, BULK COOKING!) and I just didn’t want to deal with his temper so I let him shop behind me with a kid cart.  And it was… HEAVEN!  Yes, I said HEAVEN!  We shopped together, for an entire hour, and he stayed behind me the entire time and only ran into my ankles twice (and promptly, without solicitation, said a very sincere, “oh, sorry Mommy!”).  He was the star of the store – lots of senior citizens shopping at 9:30 AM on a Tuesday – and I was so proud of him!  Yes, he fooled everyone into thinking he’s this well-behaved most of the time (believe me, I assured them that this was NOT the norm – keeping it real!), but that’s OK if it means our little charade brings me a peaceful shopping experience with kids!

Favorite Outfit of the Week:

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Yeah yeah, so this is very similar to last week’s favorite outfit, but I just love these camo pants!  I got compliments everywhere I went, and I did on the GnR shirt as well (which I totally understand, because it is awesome!).  The shoes, pants, and graphic tee are different from last week, so cut me some slack.  A close second this week, though, was an outfit you’ll see below because of the shoes.  I nailed it with the red shoes.

Carry on!

Favorite Meal of the Week:

Oh good lord, we made one of our favorite, FAVORITE paleo recipe this week.  Pork and pear stuffed acorn squash.  YUMM!  I have the recipe pictured in this post.  We have a quarter hog in our freezer, all free-range, lean hog (she processes them at 200 pounds when the big farms wait until 300 pounds) and it tastes way better than the other pork out there.  I think I touched on this last week.  Anyway, this meal hit a warm spot in my heart, being fall and all!

Favorite Purchase of the Week:

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As the world knows, I’ve been obsessed with updating our home with photos.  While on Shutt.erfl.y the other day, their banner splashed this beautiful holiday dinner table with a table runner with photos.  COULD IT BE?  Well YES, it was!  I got to shopping right away and found this very cute Christmas themed one that goes with my “winter” snowflake dishes so you know, I just had to have it.  They were running a 40% off special so YES PLEASE!  It came today, it is beautiful, and I’m making one for Hottie’s parents for their housewarming gift (with pics of the entire family – not just us – in case you were wondering!).  It is going to kill me not to buy a more “general” themed one for us… but I can control myself.  I mean, the boys will destroy this in a New York minute  😉

Favorite Project of the Week:

Pumpkin painting!  Yes, I said it – pumpkin painting!  I do enjoy carving pumpkins, but honestly… it’s a pain in the butt.  I’m so glad that this is a trend right now because my kids do not have the attention span to carve pumpkins and Hottie doesn’t like doing it and I’d get stuck with 3 to carve once they all dropped off like flies.  So painting (and foam stickers) it is this year and we were all very happy!  Bryson didn’t do one, so I did his and it was awful, as expected.  But they’re on the porch, and it looks like we are fun, crafty, involved parents.  The pumpkins joined a collection of pumpkins and gourds on our porch which is a first for me… EVER.  See, I told you all I’m feeling way better being off the pill!

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Favorite Fashion “Lesson Learned” of the Week:

I was a project manager of multi-million dollar technology and security projects prior to deciding to stay home with the kids.  I tend to run things in my life like I run projects when I’m working.  If I don’t have a project I’m working on, I’m not happy.  My obsession with data, metrics, budgets, etc. is probably understandable now that I’ve mentioned my past “working” life.  (I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it before… weird.)  So when I’m working on a project in my life, I do manage it iteratively like my IT projects, which means constant review and feedback, even if only for myself.  HA HA!  This fashion “project” has been fun, and involves weekly reviews.  I still take daily photos of my outfits and look at them (hell, who am I kidding?  I scrutinize them!) each week.  The “lesson learned” this week?

I don’t like “boyfriend jeans.”  I do not like them at all.  They look cute in these photos, but they don’t in person.  And I can honestly say that when I see people wearing them in public, I think the same thing.  My local fashion guru wears them once in a blue moon and she is thin, thin, thin and they make her look sloppy and not toned.  I know they make me look that way too.  I’ll still wear them on “off” days when I don’t care too much, but I’m writing them off.

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(But look at those red shoes!  And the top, that’s in honor of my late grandpa who referred to himself as “the old rooster”)

Favorite Realization of the Week:

Matthew loves his dad, needs his dad, all of the time.  Bryson loves his dad too, but Matthew is happiest when his dad is with him.  I love watching this, and I love hearing about their adventures when I’m not with them.  Hottie took Matthew to a small pumpkin patch on Sunday while Bryson and I ran (to induce his nap).  They’d planned to go out to a smaller town, look at some building lots and homes, and come home – but they passed a little pumpkin patch along the way and decided to stop.  They had a great time, and I loved looking at their photos!  I didn’t feel left out at all – even though we still have to get the boys to the orchard or our local pumpkin patch together.  This was their special time, and I love it!

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Favorite Photos of the Boys This Week:

Favorite Thing I Heard This Week:

So I’ve been in a workout funk, and I know it irritates people when I say that because I’m still working out more than most people… but it’s been hard to do it.  It’s been hard to get out there and run, or run on the treadmill while I get my ONE quiet hour of the day.  We’ve had absolutely beautiful weather and on Wednesday evening, I took Bryson for a neighborhood run in the dark with me for what I thought would be 3 miles and ended up being over 5 miles (because, you know, it was just so nice outside!).  The next morning was just gorgeous, and both kids were in school, and I just knew I had to run because it was so nice out and we’re on borrowed time in regards to the weather.  But I didn’t want to.  I drove to a good starting point about 2 miles from their school and decided to run “South of Grand,” an area of old majestic homes and, wait for it… lots of hills.  What was I thinking?  The entire time, I thought to myself, “I hate this.  This was stupid.”  My muscles ached after the 5 miles not even 15 hours earlier and it was windy, and hilly.  I couldn’t catch my stride, I walked up a hill (so embarrassing), my breathing was off.  I was shooting for 3 miles, but felt like a wimp so went 4.5.  I angrily got in the car and saw a message from Hottie to meet him for coffee if I wanted.

I wanted.

I picked him up, still grumpy.  I apologized for my attitude and said, “that was a hard run, not fun.  You know, I did it because I had to, because I felt it was a missed opportunity if I didn’t.”

And he said, “No, you did it because you’re disciplined.”

And I smiled.