Around here thirty-eight: 09/16-09/22

Friday, September 23, 2016

a glimpse into what it is like to live in our home just this minute.

Intentional Hours Outside:  445 hours (of 1000)
Up only eleven hours this week, as we I felt slightly trapped inside taking care of sore throats and fevers while trying to get chores down too.  It was a weird week that felt really rushed for time, even more so as the first day of fall (Thursday) marked the official move into less daylight hours now.  uh oh.  hah.   I got in a nice jog on Sunday to try to prep (or at least make sure I could do it - HAH!) for my 5K this weekend on a beautiful local trail.

Reading (still!) Home Field by Hannah Gersen.  I'm moving so slowly through as I'm not being very good at carving out reading time.  I listened to a big chunk of Tell the Wolves I'm Home on audible while I took my jog on Sunday afternoon.  Also reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Illustrated edition to Greyson before bed.

Celebrating our Violet's second birthday, a little early, last Friday night with an animal birthday party.  So thankful to everyone who came out to our house to enjoy the evening with us and honor our two year old Va-vi.  We had a peanut-eating elephant, animal cracker cupcakes, and these animal masks.  It was pretty lowkey and just perfect for our Miss Vi; our resident wacky, adorable, meatball, silly two year old!

Hiding out under the bleachers at Greyson's flag football game on Saturday as it poured down rain.  It was Grey's first rain football game and he didn't hate it (hah).  They won, making their team 3-1 and he still is having a great time playing in the games and practice.  I'm loving the fact that I always have "you have to go to school if you want to play football" in my back pocket when Grey wakes up particularly cranky for school...mwhahha.

Planning all sorts of upcoming stuff like an alumni cornhole tournament this weekend, Beer Olympics (only two weeks away!) and new ideas for The Hunting Daddies.  I have a list of three other mini-trips that I need to figure out in terms of planning (and financing!)  Usually planning makes me feel energized, but lately between the sick kids and the part-time job, I've been feeling waves of pressure.  One little step at a time though...

Pulling out the Halloween decor this week because it was a beautiful fall day and I knew it would have the kids smiling.  We have so many Halloween books that get the kids excited about the holiday.  I must have read Max's Halloween and Ten Timid Ghosts twenty times already this week!  We don't overdue it on the decorations, but it's just enough to get our spirits in the mood.

Enjoying this beautiful weather.  It's been high seventies here all week and bright blue skies with the most perfect fall breezes coming through.  We've had the windows open with the curtains billowing up and it makes me feel so happy deep down in my bones.

Watching this TED talk about the museum of four in the morning and loving it so much.  Maybe my new favorite because of romance and the universe conspiring for the sake of beauty and all the tingling feelings.

Making these three ingredient chocolate/pumpkin muffins (my absolute fav because of both ease and taste) for breakfast on the first day of fall, and then baked potato soup in the crockpot for dinner that same day.  We also had taco pasta (easy and yum) and veggie pizza for Violet's party (thank you Heather for chopping all the veggies!)

Profesh photos- Adliv Collective.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

my little momma heart is gushing over our profesh pics from the incredibly talented Tabitha James over at Adliv Collective.  We signed up for one of her Labor Day mini-sessions and spent the morning running around the house like a maniac to get everyone ready for our first legit family photos since our Rusty has arrived.  (One of my 'secrets' is to not put on anyone's shirts until we are walking out the door!).  And then we finally arrived with one kid with a bellyache (Gem), one overly tired and cranky kid (Rust), a hungry kid (Grey), and a pretending-to-be-shy Violet.

Tab was awesome though and had everyone cooperating in no time.  And honestly, the proof is in the pudding when she magically managed to pull off these beautiful pictures of my favorite humans when getting all six of us to even look in the same direction at any given time is a miracle in and of itself.  

I got the email from Adliv giving me access to the photos while Brandon and I were lying in bed (was it late at night or early in the morning?  I seriously cannot remember but,) we snuggled up and scrolled through the pictures of these kids' faces that we love so much, whispering as they all slept, "look how beautiful," and "omigosh, that face!"  Totally relishing in the fact that we had made those people with the little darling faces we love and the personalities that both fill us with pride and frustration at any given moment (sometimes simultaneously). 

We looked at our photo together and smiled because how long has it been since just the two of us were in a photo together?  How many years of history and life and fights and making up and laughing and early mornings and late nights and cleaning up throw ups of the kid and the dog variety, and how many memories float in the background of a picture of just the two of us.  All seventeen years of us are layered within that image; invisible to everyone but us.  And who are those people even in that photo - they are so much older than "high school Brandon and Tab?"  Not like old-old, but distinctly oldER..  It's funny how we can still feel like "high school Brandon and Tab" inside of our guts, but then we look like real life adults; we look like someone's parents....four someone's parents. Time is such a odd thing.  

I'm so excited to get these beauties printed and hanging on the wall.  This is our team, in just this time, our little crew in this one beautiful, messy, chaotic season of our life.  Thank you so much Tab!

small town county fair Americana

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

tis my favorite season of the year.  The rustling of the fallen leaves in that cool autumn breeze while the sun shines down with the fading summer warmth.  One of my favorite fall traditions is to visit our local county fair with my parents and sister (and Kev) for the yummy eats, amusements, and all the small town Americana goodness.  

The giant slide was the biggest hit of the night, especially with our Va-vi who wanted to ride it several times in a row by grabbing each of our hands and pulling us towards the entrance gate as soon as she reached the bottom of slide. 

Greyson tried the rock wall this year and after a few minutes of hesitation, it took only the challenge of getting to the top like the older boy in the next harness for him to perk up and scale that wall like it was easy.  He was so proud!

We had dinner, played some games, and of course hit all the rides the kids requested.  Violet was tall enough to ride the little roller coaster this year, and just like her older bro and sis when they were two before her - cried the entire time.  Three for three! Rusty got to take a ride on the carousel and then spent the most of the night in the carrier taking in all the sights and sounds. 

And the animal barns!  Another of our favorites, talking to all the 4H kids that are eager to share the names and information about their animals with our excited kids who practically skip through the barns peeking in and sweetly greeting each animal.

happy fall ya'll.

Around Here thirty-seven: 09/09-09/15

Saturday, September 17, 2016

What it is like to live in our home just this minute...

Intentional Hours Outside:  438 hrs (of 1000)
ugh.  Up a measly 9 hours from last week.  I was reading back through my Around Here posts from April and we were averaging almost 20 hours a week back then!?  I need to step up my game big time.  Once I get back in the early afternoon from work, my first instinct (after nursing Rust) is to dive right into chores which take me almost nearly until when Grey gets home, then it's homework and dinner and clean up and bedtime and I squeeze in almost no outdoor time at all.  With working now, even though only part time, I think I need to re-arrange my chores a little bit so that I have more time during each day to get outside and PLAY with the kids.  less pressure for all the things to get done, and more focus on fun with the wild things a little more each day. 

Reading (still...slow and steady, hah) Home Field by Hannah Gersen and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling with Grey before bed

Enjoying our annual tradition with Abba and Chum (and Uch & Kevin!) at our county fair.  We all headed out and had a great evening of good 'ole fashion Americana fun.  I'm working on a whole post about it coming next week because all the bright colors and smiles and animal tails are worth their own dedicated post :) 

Celebrating our wonderful grandparents this weekend for Grandparents' Day (it's the second Sunday of September every year).  Our kids are blessed to still have FIVE grandparents, including their great grandma Mimi.  We got them a giant photo strip of all four kids' faces from Social Print Studio and they loved it...and I'm kind of jealous I didn't order one for myself! (2 strips are only $20!)

Cheering Grey on at his flag football game at Conemaugh Valley last week.  This does not seem like that big of a deal, but let me break it down for you.  B and I are both CV grads...B coaches varsity basketball at CV...I work closely with the CV Alum Association....we give our yearly scholarship to CV grads....and here we go sitting in the visitors section bleachers wearing our son's CT red and black colors.  hahhaha.  it was bizarre but you gotta do what you gotta do for your kids, right?  Grey's team won in the last few seconds of the game but it was a hard battle, especially since we were playing against Cam, who runs "super fast! faster than me!" (says Grey). 

Pumping every morning right before I leave for work.  All the rest of my kiddos have seemed to be 'over' nursing around the 5 month mark and so I know this stage will be short lived, but waking up at 5:18am every morning to be able to get ready, look over my lessons one last time, and pump before I have to leave is making for one very early-to-bed momma.  Like 9pm, you guys; not.even.kidding.

Loving our sleepy napping girl Violet this week.  Usually she takes a snooze every 2-3 days and we can expect a late bedtime if she does nap (ugh).  But this week, she took a nap every day and went to bed at a regular time.  Maybe a growth spurt before her second birthday which is only a week away!  waaah! 

Happy to see Gemmi's new friendships at the playground during Grey's football practice.  It gives me hope about her next year at kindergarten as she's still a pretty serious "momma's girl" but also can be kind of a dramatic 'mean girl' sometimes too...that girl gives me some worry (hah). We walked up from the car this week and as soon as she was spotted, two little girls ran over and shouted, "Hi Gemma!" and Ro looked over at me and smiled proud before saying, "Hi, guys!" and then off she went to play babies or big girls who have boyfriends - or whatever little game 4-6 year old girls like to pretend.  Her playground playdates are easing my restless momma's heart.

Switching some kids' clothes out this week.  I changed over Rusty's clothes to 3-6 months and had a little whimper about saying goodbye to all of his 0-3 baby clothes (why does this happen every.darn.time I change clothes?!).  Same with Violet as I switched her clothes to 2T fall/winter clothes and I smile wistfully (like a total weirdo) at all the clothes I recognize from Gemmi's two year old days.  Being a mum is the strangest feeling sometime, so much nostalgia it paralyzes me sometimes. 

Teaching a mini Spanish lesson on Wednesday to our friends from the Elks Club.  Abba & Chum and our Aunt Dar and Uncle Mike are all headed to the Dominican Republic for vacation and they invited me to one of their meetings to give a few Spanish pointers.  It was such a fun evening - any time I can use my bossy teacher voice, I'm happy - and everyone was actually pretty eager and sweet about learning some new words to use in the DR. 

Thankful for our babysitters this week: Aunt Dar, Uncle Mike, Chum, and Pappy.  Our new regular babysitter should be starting this coming week and I'm (and the girls!) are so excited to get into a routine so I can take that little scheduling stress out of my mind!

Making chicken and zucchini casserole (one of my favs) and chili over elbow macaroni for the Steelers' first game of the season.  The girls and I made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for Tommy, one of our favorite firefighters to say thank you to him as a first responder in honor of 9/11.