Friday, May 22, 2015

Currently







Feeling grateful for my handsome hubs who held down the fort for all of last weekend with all three kids by himself.  We got home from vacation after 9pm on Friday night and by 8am Saturday morning I was out the door and on my way to a Women's in the Outdoors event to act as a vendor for The Hunting Daddies until after 5:30p.  And then I was gone all day again on Sunday celebrating our cousin's bridal shower and visiting a wedding dress shop in Pittsburgh with my baby sister for her birthday.  Daddy had it all under control, mowed our entire yard (high grass nation after a week away) and all living beings not only survived but thrived.  #luckiest #forreal

Laughing at (and feeling frustrated by) our threenager Gemma Rose.  Perhaps because we aren't on vacation anymore, but she has had a tough week in the tantrum department.  Not only within our own house, but she threw two inconsolable fits at the chiropractor and gymnastics class this week.  Despite all the dramatics (one tantrum this week started because she couldn't get a spaghetti noodle on her fork), she really is very funny.  She earned $1 for 'babysitting' Violet while I was upstairs and she chose her method of entertaining Violet was to draw all over her own arms with markers, giving her full sleeve tattoos for two days.  Then when I was scrubbing them off yesterday, she asked me, "When you were a little girl and you sitted a baby and made one dollar did you color on your arms and then your Mom cleaned them off too?"

Reading Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston and I am absolutely enamored.  I know it's a travesty that I haven't already read this classic yet in my life, but I am now and I'm beside myself with how beautiful it is in both content and writing.  Honestly, easily one of my new favorite books of all time.  It is a book that reminds me of the wonder of being a reader and also a book that resets my goal for the kind of a writer I hope to be someday (both daunting and exhilarating at the same time).  I'm in love.

Baffled at how big my Greyson Rudy has seemed in the past few days.  Sometimes my mind will float to the idea of this fall and him going to Kindergarten and I'll momentarily lose my breath.  He is so kind and patient with all of his girls (his Mom included) and I am so grateful that he is ours.  He is such a big help around here and always willing to spend time with his sisters when they need it. He slept over his grandparents' house the other day and when he called the next day he and Gemma got to talk to each other.  She told him, "Are you coming home?  I miss you, Grey." and he answered, "Okay Gem, I'll be home in a little bit and then we can play babies, okay?"  But his grown-upness is showing too in the way he relentlessly teases Gemma now - it's not just whining over a toy or time; now he understands intentional teasing.

Falling all over the place.  In the past four weeks, I have fallen (to the ground) three different times.  Twice because I rolled my ankle while walking/jogging and once because my knee gave out when I was jogging with Bullet and he bumped into me from behind.  Two of those times (including last night in a gravel parking lot in front of multiple people while holding Gemma!), I ripped up my knees and have huge bruises.  Seriously, I'm officially an old lady. Brandon has concerns.  hahhahhaha

Baking 'Cruffins' for the first time.  I tried my hand at an easy version of them (read: using refrigerated croissant tube) after pinning this legit version. I must report, they were delicious and the kids loved them.  Super easy and yummy breakfast snack:)

Grieving the lost of Violet's snuggle stage.  Yeesh, this girl is so over being immobile.  She's terribly frustrated by not being able to crawl/walk/run and she lets us all know.  She likes to be held, but only if you're standing up and walking around so she can see everything.  She's squirming, grabbing everything, pulling hair, biting our shoulders with her four little teeth, and making a college effort to rock back and forth on all fours.  It's the beginning of the end of a baby land over here and it's horrible for my poor little heart.

Awarding our seventh Studer scholarship at Conemaugh Valley's senior banquet last night to two high school seniors, Kaitlyn and Becca.  Gemma acted as my date since Brandon and Greyson were at a teeball game.  It was especially inspiring to be there this year as there are even more people from the community starting scholarships and spreading support and encouragement to the youth coming out of your district.  For a full hour, we watched various families get up and offer well wishes and monetary gifts to the senior class.  It was amazing and I feel so grateful to be a blue jay.

This week in interesting internet:

I was actually emotional reading Ashley's (of the Big White Farmhouse) account of her first half marathon.  I've never had the courage to run a half marathon, but somehow everything she wrote made me feel like if I ever would, it would feel just like that.  So proud of you, Ashley!!

This beautiful piece about a 6th grade mom writing to a preschool mom.  The line "All of the baby heads on all of the different endless baby days that end up ending after all." had me all sorts of choked up.  Right now, in the thick of the blur, it seems impossibly far away that I won't be bending over because I have to - but even still - I know it is slowly coming.

This song (Sleeping at Last by Light) that my friend Taryn introduced me to this week.  All the feels, all the tears.  #mommahood

Cyber high five to this article boasting that kids don't need a bath everyday.  We are firmly of the group that believes a little dirt and germs never hurt, so this article was a nice read to know we're still doing okay even though our kids aren't spotless all the time.  (does this apply to grown ups too?  because ya'll know I ain't getting a shower every day..or three)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Screen Free Week 2015 Recap

We closed out our third year of participating in Screen Free Week recently, and it was our easiest year yet!  Since our involvement in the past years, we have already created a limited screen environment here at home by removing screens from our mornings.  It was small change that extended out through the whole day; without watching cartoons in the morning, the kids get right to playing first thing and sort of forget about being interested in watching/playing on screens at all most days.

Screen Free Week is always a more difficult task for the Mumma because I rely heavily (and mostly unnecessarily) on my phone during the day.  It's my watch, camera, answer-finder, recipe holder, and grown up distraction toy all in one.

But we were blessed with beautiful weather and lots of to do list items during Screen Free Week and it kept us all mostly occupied, happy, and busy.



Greyson and I had a super special evening at his Tuesday night karate class which was dedicated to Mother's day.  He wrote me a sweet note (it said:  "I Love My Mom") and he was very proud to show and teach me during his karate class.  At one point when we were giggling, he said, "I love this so much!" I don't know if he was talking about the karate or the fact that I was doing it with him, but his genuine excitement made my heart sing.


We played outside every single day regardless of the weather before 9:30am each day.  The kids were outside playing one morning when I looked out and saw that it was starting to rain.  I went to call them in, when I saw the both of them run underneath a tree to take cover.  I left them be and they stayed out for another half hour until they went running hand and hand back up to the house.  When they came inside they were going on and on about how clever they were to find a roof in the rain!

All week, we jumped on the trampoline, explored the woods near our house, dug for worms, staked out our resident groundhog, biked, scootered, and the kids packed little snacks for themselves to share at kid-ony picnics.  It was a great week of sibling cooperation (granted there are inevitably always squabbles, but for the most part they got along and played together).  We remind them all the time that it is much more fun to play together than it is to play alone - and this week was a big reminder of that.


Because Screen Free Week also fell on the dreaded "Week Before Vacation" I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was a little worried about my ability to manage the kids without screens while also packing, list making, organizing, and tying up loose ends our week long international vacation at the end of the week.

But, I'm happily surprised to report that I think Screen Free Week made it easier to get those things done!  I've said it before, and I'll say it again - the lack of screens and consuming someone else's creativity pushes my own kids to work their imagination muscle better and harder which then leads to better independent play.  Like markedly better.  Like I can pack for our family of five for vacation with relative ease better.

While I buzzed around the house getting things together and crossing to do items off our list, the kids played independently, with each other, or offered to help occupy Violet.  They even offered assistance in packing and fetching items from various rooms.  It should be getting more obvious to me, but it's always a bit shocking how much screens seem to make my job as a mom harder; not at all easier.


My own Screen Free week went well.  Another shocking (but shouldn't be at all) revelation is always how much I can get done in terms of chores and reading when I limit my own non-essential screen time.  I try not to be glued to my phone, but the temptation is great when I'm trying to procrastinate on household chores or the kids are into the 46th in a row game of Memory.

I kept my screen time to only when they were asleep and spent the rest of the day playing with them, packing, or focusing with no distractions on getting chores done. I've recognized that it is easy for me to 'forget' my phone when it is out of sight, so I'm hoping to incorporate a designated place that I leave my phone for a big part of the day regularly without having it stare at me and tempt me with the appeal of distraction.


We actually enjoyed an extended screen free week since who has time for screens while on vacation?!  We opted to leave electronics at home for the plane ride and instead I put together a manila folder for each kid with little activity pages inside.  In all honesty, the kids mostly slept on both plane rides (to and home), but when they weren't sleeping, they worked on their 'work folders' which included copy pages of mazes, drawing prompts, sticker puzzles, and a homemade Airplane Bingo worksheet.


Did you participate in Screen Free Week this year?  Did you have any revelation moments?  Check out the Screen Free Blog to read about some other experiences that were had during The Best Week Ever!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Currently


 







Making some creative meals these past few days as we are bare bones in our pantry.  Our second vehicle has been in the shop for the whole past week (!!) so as Brandon has spent his work days at various meetings this week, we have not had time/access to get to the grocery store.  So I've been looking very creatively at our food stock and whipping together some surprisingly tasty treats.  This week I've made, Hawaiian Haystacks, Kielbasa & Potato Bake, and last night I made an egg,  ham, and sausage scramble for dinner.  We also baked some Chocolate Chip & Walnut cookies because I'm obsessed with these cookies and they make me unnaturally happy.

Grateful for warm weather.  so so grateful for the sunshine, flip flops, no jackets, and warm skin.  The two big kids and I had a picnic lunch this week and we spent a solid 15 minutes staring into an ant hill encouraging a little worker ant who was 'working on the tunnels.' The kids played outside last night well after dark and I had all three kids on the tractor with me at once this week mowing the grass (#safetynotfirst) Hello spring, I've missed you so much.

Cheering, lots and lots of cheering.  Grey started teeball last week and we've spent already many an evening at the baseball field watching our biggest baby field, hit, and catch balls.  waaah, grown up.  He told me that he was going to 'walk back with my friend' from the concession stand and left me, Chum, and Gigi standing there like, 'huh?'  Our big boy also got promoted from his Tot Karate class to the big kids' class this week and was introduced to (and fell in immediate love with) sparring.  And our Miss Gemma Rose is kicking butt at gymnastics, especially on the bar where she displays crazy upper body strength.  And Violet girl finally (finally!!) had her top tooth make it's first appearance after weeks of waiting on it.  It's been a big two weeks around  here.

Jogging with lots of thanks to Bullet as he is sometimes the only reason I get out on the trail.  He has been doing so much better with getting some walk/jogs outside of the yard where he sniffs and explores.  He's a great motivator.  Yesterday we headed out for 3+miles together and got a lot of opportunities for him to practice appropriate walking while we passed lots of strangers working outdoors and mowing lawns.  It was a struggle to start (I actually fell once on the road, in front of a group of men working at a garage! because Bullet and I got tangled up.  Oh yea, super embarrassing and also scraped my leg up) but by the end of the walk he was doing awesome and not getting distracted or excited.  Baby steps, people, baby steps.  You can also download the free app WoofTrax to track your dog walking to help raise money for your local animal shelter.  You know I love me some kindness.

Crossing off task no. 82 from my 100 small things list:  Get my hair done (highlight/cut).  No big deal, right?  WRONG!  I have not been to the salon since October 2013!  Honest to goodness neglect, right there my friends.  Luckily, my awesome hairstylist Victoria was able to get my mop under control and ready for summer.  I opted from some blonde highlights and a bob-style cut.  Low maintenance and fresh!  Basically a "Big Gemma" as my daughter informed me while she hung out with me at the salon.  #twinsies

Praying for baby Redden.  The Irving family received heartbreaking news that baby Redden will need surgery as a next step in getting him better; the chemo is just not working.  Please keep him and their whole family in your prayers and thoughts as they try to make scary decisions with confidence and hope.

Boiling over an internet troll on a recent blog post of mine.  It could not have come at a more perfect time with Screen Free Week around the corner reminding me how much a break will do me some good.  Oh Internet, how I love thee but also hate that you give people this false sense of entitlement to be rude to strangers.  bleh.  Anyway, after about a day of feeling offended and seriously annoyed, I'm officially over it.  My mom and sisters helped by responding in the oddly comforting visceral way that reminded me they'd be thrilled to go to arms for me if needed.  While my husband also lifted me up by saying, "That opinion doesn't matter at all, to me, to you, to anyone who knows you.  You're the coolest person I know." (sometimes its nice when he talks to me like we're in high school again, haha) I know the trolls are few and far between, but the sting doesn't hurt any less.

Drinking (or trying to drink) a whole gallon of water a day!  My baby sis and I were talking about how we both need to up our water intake and so we saw this pin and I went for it.  So far of the four days that I've been making an attempt, I drank the entire gallon only one day.  But I've been getting close everyday.  I'm trying to be aware of any changes from the H2O boost and I think I'm feeling like I have more energy...maybe?  In any case, it's got to be good for me, right?  The key to success for finishing the whole gallon I think is to make sure I get some in BEFORE I drink coffee in the morning.

Reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  I know, I'm like three years late to the plate, hahha.  It's an interesting and easy read so far and I'm hopeful I'll finish it next week during Screen Free Week!  I need to pick up my pace a little if I want to complete this task from my 100 small things list!  This task should be a little bit easier to complete moving forward though as I'm in the works of organizing a Summer book club together with two of my favorite blogging friends Ashley and Shelly.  Details to revealed soon, but if you're in need of a reading group for the summer, stay tuned!  We are set to begin June 1 :)

Prepping for Blog Archives Week!  I've been self-diagnosed with blogging block; ie. I've been feeling uninspired with blogging (have you noticed from my lack of posts?! hah) so I'm hoping a trip down memory lane of previous posts for both me and you guys might ignite some new inspiration for me.  I'll be sharing daily on Team Studer Facebook page one of my favorite archived posts each day.  If you're a blogger and are interested in resurfacing some of your best and personal fav blog posts - join up in a #BlogArchivesWeek:  May 10-16, 2015!

This week in interesting internet:

I absolutely loved this article about our micro-generation and how our growing up right along with the abyssal change of technology lends to how we react to the world.  So interesting - I especially loved this quote, "...This made us the first generation of children to grow up figuring it out.."

There has been so much coverage of all that is happening in Baltimore and it's always hard for me to watch people fully gulp down information that they receive without any background or corroborating information.  So in an effort to remind myself that we only get to see what they 'feed' us through the media, I really appreciated this article:  How Western Media would cover Baltimore if it happened elsewhere.  and this satirical video that one of my good friends shared by saying "This is Satire.  This is almost not satire."

This article about how ordering plus size clothes on the internet fit real plus size women.  First, these are the same girls that had me cracking up and wanting to be their best friends in the photoshop article they did.  Second, I never, ever, ever buy clothes online because I know this to be true.  My booty (which I consider to be one of my favorite body parts) ain't no match for buying clothes without trying them on first.  I loved how funny and gracious these women are with themselves.  I was actually just talking this week to Gigi about how I have three pairs of identical jeans:  all same brand (Old Navy), all same style (Sweetheart cut), all same size (10) and all three fit differently.  how is this possible?!

I felt particularly inspired with my own hometown this week on the internet.  Because of this woman's essay into the Kraft Hockeyville competition, our Johnstown rink is in the final running to win $150,000 towards upgrades and being named the first ever Kraft Hockeyville .  Very exciting (and might I add, deserving considering we are the home of the cult hocky film Slapshot!)  After weeks of voting and rallying, the Hockeyville winner is to be announced this afternoon!

I also had one of my archived posts shared multiple times on facebook this week and felt honored and proud to be a voice for Jtown.  And finally my baby sis and I registered for the upcoming Path of the Flood 5K in two weeks!  This truly is a great place to live, and if you need a reminder of how much fun there is going on around here, make sure to Like You! in Flood City for daily updates.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Screen Free Week Prep 2015

it's here again!
This is our third year participating in National Screen Free week (you can read our first two year reflections here:  20142013) and I am looking forward to it this year.  In years past, I have planned and organized all sorts of events and activities for the kids and I to do together in preparation for a week without screens (you can read about that here:  20142013) but this year I'm taking a more lax approach for it knowing that in our hearts, we have all the tools we need to have a wild, fun, and screen free week.  The kids and I chatted about all the ways we have screen free fun to give us a quick reference next week if we need some inspiration:


Thanks to our participation in Screen Free Weeks past, we have been expanding our own limited use of screens in our house over the past year, and especially within the last three months.  I have been deeply inspired by 1000 hours Outside and we've upped our (already fairly generous) outdoor time with a new-found ambition and excitement!  (I'm not -yet?- tracking our outdoor hours, but I am much quicker to head outside with three kids in tow and sometimes even our two big dogs too!)



And we've implemented in our home, strict screen free zones which include: Mealtimes, Bedtimes, Car rides, and (most recently) Mornings

Mealtimes, Bedtimes:  This one mostly applies to Brandon and I as we have constant access to screens through our cellphones.  So we make concerted efforts to put our phones somewhere away and on vibrate during mealtimes and bedtimes.  The mealtime that is hardest for me is Lunch when I always feel like I'm drowning in butt wiping and lacking serious adult conversation.  The pull of blog-reading and facebook scrolling in strong.  But I've found that usually when I 'forget' my phone upstairs or put it on the charger, it's a little easier to leave it then having it glare at me from the counter.

Car rides:  We don't have any movies or devices in the car because I'm old school and I want me kids to be able to occupy themselves on car rides without dependency on constant stimulation.  Look out the window, kid!  hahha.  We took an entire 1000+ mile roadtrip vacation last summer with a four and two year old without devices!  This one is near and dear to my heart.  Brandon and I also try to be the best models of driving without phone interruptions too for the kids because we know we have future drivers watching our every move (gulp.gulp.gulp).  So we keep our texting to a zero and our calls to an absolute minimum when the kids are with us.

Mornings:  We have been slowly removing screens from our day for the past few weeks.  It started with a task from my 100 small things list:  to remove tv from our morning routine.  Since the time when Grey was old enough to be interested in tv (two-ish?) it seemed like the easiest thing was to let him watch a show or two in the morning when he first woke up.  It became our routine that they'd wake up, come downstairs, sit in the front of the tv and eat breakfast while I thought I was getting a couple extra minutes in the morning to get some things done uninterrupted.

But that just didn't sit right in my creative soul and heart.  I didn't like that the first thing they were doing in the mornings was consuming someone else's creativity.  I didn't like that it was a struggle then to turn the tv off because once they get sucked in, they're sucked in deep.  I didn't like that I wasn't actually getting uninterrupted time at all because they were shouting requests in for me (More drink!  I can't hear it! I need a napkin!) because they didn't want to miss anything from the screen.

So in late February, just one day out of the blue, when the kids came down in the morning and asked for a show, I said we weren't watching tv in the morning anymore.  Then I braced myself for the fight that never came.  Sure, they occasionally still ask when they wake up, 'can we watch something?' and I just remind them we don't watch shows in the morning and that's it.  What surprised me most from this tiny change was the ripples it pushed out through the rest of the day.  Once their little imagination muscles have to jumpstart in the morning to play without screens, then they are working stronger for the rest of the day.  Some days we don't turn the tv on at all - for.the.whole.day!  With absolutely not a single request from them!

We even took a bigger leap (totally by accident) by losing the iPad charger for a few weeks (seriously, the kids lost it) and then we didn't even have that request coming from them because the battery was dead!  So we were down tv (sometimes for the whole day) and also no iPad access and with almost no whining to account for without them!! mind blowing.  (and quite honestly, I'm pretty proud of them!)


Instead of planning the week out with elaborate activities, I'm going to instead reflect back on the things I loved about my own childhood (thanks for the inspiration, Shelly!) I remember loving to jump on the trampoline while we had music blasting (I'm burning the kids a CD with their favorite songs!), playing freely in the woods, reading, playing outside whatever the time of day or weather (rain! dusk! early morning!), eating outside, writing stories and making books, making messes (!)
 --thank you Mum & Dad for allowing my sisters and I to have such a wild, free, and full of imagination childhood.  love you and forever grateful for that --

But the best and most delighted moments were when Mum & Dad came out and joined us!  Remember how fun and surprising and joyful it was when they jumped on the trampoline or when they organized a Kick The Can game (um, we're playing that this week too, I just decided!)  When they joined in it was like vacation!  It was like our whole perspective on who they were shifted a little bit, like they were real humans!  We looked at our parents like these hard-working people that had grown up tasks to do all day (because it's true, hello adulthood sux), and then they'd come join us for fun and it was like, whaaaaaaat?!  Look how funny and awesome they are!

I recently witnessed this from my own two big kids when I put Violet in the bouncy chair and got on the trampoline with them (the first time in two years since I was pregnant last summer!) and the kids could not stop giggling.  They were like, "Mumma?  Mum?  You're coming on too!"  Honest.to.goodness delight in their eyes.  It's not just me, the boring mum grown up who gets burnt out from all the housework, projects, to do lists, appointments...but the kids too tend to forget that I'm a real person, someone capable of fun!  This is my goal for next week - to join in on the fun!  To make it like vacation, to give them full attention and be a part of the play too!



My personal plan for the Mumma's participation in Screen Free week is to limit screens to only when kids are not awake and only grant myself access to gmail (too many projects/commitments to bail on it entirely, wah!) and shutterfly (If i don't finish our 2014 yearbook, I'm going to lose my mind! HAH!)

I'll be steering clear of facebook, pinterest, instagram, and blogs (mine included) for the week.  No doubt a little vacation from social media will do my heart and mind some good.  No tv for Brandon and I but I have some date night ideas for us instead!


Do you have plans for Screen Free Week?  Will you be participating?  Do you already limit screen time at home?  Or is this your first time?   Are you in need of some inspiration?




and if you need more personal inspiration:  look at your own instagram feed.  No one is taking pictures of their kids in front of screens and feeling inspired.  The pictures of your kids being wild & free are the ones with the biggest smiles.  Set the goal that you'll do more of that (smiles, wild & free) next week!  Bring it on Screen Free Week 2015!




Friday, April 17, 2015

Currently








Making some new eats and treats these past two weeks.  We've had Pancake Sausage Bites, Brownie Cookies, Copycat Olive Garden Chicken & Gnocchi soupGarbage Stir fry (but with Soy sauce instead of Curry), and Honey Garlic Porkchops!

Celebrating our son's fifth birthday!  We threw a basketball birthday party last Friday night and had a great time.  Even some of the high school Blue Jay basketball team showed up and it made Grey's night that they came to his party (thanks guys!  you're the best!) My first baby is five.  waaaaaah.

Laughing at Gemma Ro.  The girl is endless in her hilarity.  She has decided that saying she wants to marry someone/thing is how she now expresses love for them.  "I'm going to marry Daddy."  "I want to marry that fish on my cup."  "I think I'll marry these fancy shoes."

Saying Goodbye to my Pap.  It's been a long, sad two weeks while he was sick and then after he passed and all the events that comes with that.  We are so blessed though to be surrounded by so many loving thoughts, prayers, and people.  (thank you, all).  We finally said goodbye on Wednesday afternoon with a twenty-one gun salute and Taps played at the burial service.  Rest in peace, Pap Pap.

Thankful for spring officially arriving!  It has been warming up and even the cloudy April showers type days are warm enough for the kids to go out and stomp around in puddles.  It really feels like spring now that the boys are headed out to fishing camp tonight for the whole weekend!  Grey is so excited he can barely stand himself.  I've answered 'When is Daddy getting home from work?' approximately 4583920 times already today.  We have a special running at The Hunting Daddies store in honor of fishing season!  Use Code WETLINES for $2 off any of our Youth items!

Relieved that Violet's bout with diarrhea and subsequent diaper rash appears to be over!  It lasted almost two weeks and I was close to being drowned alive in baby laundry and cloth diapers.  Hallelujah!

Ordering the kids' stuff for our upcoming vacation and got the notice that it's already shipped! I love the sun shirts and the sun skull caps at One Step Ahead and even ordered them some Froggles! They are pretty excited about it.

Reading The Ten Thousand Things still (!) but I am on the very last chapter and have only four pages left (seriously - I should just be reading them right now and getting if over with!!) Wasn't too crazy about the book, but it was very different than my usual books (mostly in writing style) so that's good.  Next up is The Girl with Dragon Tattoo (I know, I'm a little slow on the uptake).

Frustrated about how I've felt sort of in a haze for the past two weeks.  Granted, I know we've had some rough stuff going on (my Pap, Violet sick, Grey's fifth birthday) but not being at regular/top efficiency always makes me feel lethargic.  So, I'm hopeful that I'll get back into regular operating mode soon.  I'm hoping to get better at getting some walking/jogging time in every day, packing for vacation, and finishing up some spring cleaning in the next week!

Regretting teaching Grey how to whistle this morning.  Yeesh, it's been  non-stop all day and he just came up to me and said, "Mum, I can whistle as good as a bird.  Also, I feel like whistling all day because it's so fun to whistle."  Help.me.

Inspired after spending some time yesterday afternoon walking around Lift Johnstown's Project Party that brought together tons of volunteer organizations in the community and surrounding counties.  I was for real like a kid in a candy store.  Gah, so much good happening and opportunities to support or be a part of it.  Obsessed.


This week in interesting internet:

Brandon and I both really resonated with the article from Scary Mommy on why a Mother doesn't want to be touched.  We had a chat about it and both agreed that we understood where each side was coming from.  I was just thinking about it again today when I was feeding Violet in the rocker before her nap and Lola (our cat) was laying on my legs and Greyson was standing/leaning next to me.  So.much.touching.all.the.time.

I loved reading the Moral Bucket List; a NY Times article and loved the thought that there are two different kinds of virtues; resume and eulogy and what it appears that we value in society as a whole.  very interesting and thought-provoking stuff.

The two year old article about the marathon spectators popped up in my TimeHop this week and I re-read it and re-loved it again.  This article was actually some of the inspiration that went into our maid of honor speech in our sister's wedding last year.  If you are a runner or a watcher of runners in races - this article is heartwarming.

Great read from the NY Times about how white parents are becoming less white as families are becoming more diverse.

I was cracking up over this article about some new vocabulary words.  Every night when getting into bed I'm not kidding, I audibly moan in ecstasy (bedgasm) and I'm fairly certain that I nerd-jack most conversations - sorry friends & family!.

Greyson and I laughed and watched this video three times from Dude Perfect about fishing stereotypes.  We are Kiss Fishers in case you were wondering.  Although, Greyson and Brandon would like to ensure that we don't lick them.  HAHAHAHA.