Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Checking in...

(The boys enjoying a good game of "Pirate Adventures")

It's cold and rainy. Luke and I are home sick, and in general it's just a grumpy kind of day. Time to refocus the energy. SO, today you get a list of all that is right in my world:

1. Luke is sitting here holding my hand as he eats his oatmeal. It's a little messy, but I love that he just wants to be close. Both boys have been such cuddlers lately, and I never miss an opportunity to curl up with one or both on the couch.

2. My amazing, incredible sister is getting very close to welcoming her son to their family. This baby boy has no idea just how lucky he is.

3. Maybe a little cheesy, but I'm totally digging the Jason Castro CD. Listening to it non-stop.

4. Max's end-of-soccer pizza party is tonight. I am so thankful that he had such a great time playing his first season of organized sports. (And also a little thankful to get a break from the every weekend commitment of it all.)

5. My ever-talented friend Emily is coming all the way from St. Louis and will be taking our family portraits this weekend. Since meeting her online about 2.5 years ago, I always hoped this opportunity would present itself - and it's here! Cross your fingers for a break in the rain...

6. Summer (the break from school, if not the weather) is only a few short weeks away. With it comes the freedom of schedule I yearn for in a serious way. It's time to start planning some fun!

7. I'm thankful for amazing girlfriends that I can chat into the wee hours with - they inspire me with their energy and passion for pursuing lives of intention and thoughtfulness. They make me want to be a better person.

8. I have the greatest hubby on the planet. Period. And I don't tell him that enough.

9. Finished The Hunger Games on Monday. Got the email that Catching Fire is in at the library. I'm ready to lose a few hours. Normally these aren't my "type" of book - but they are great!

10. My head is full of crafty plans. Now to just find the time to execute them...

And to wrap up, here's a few pics from the last few weeks:

My first pair of knitted socks are finished. I don't love them, but they're done.

Max made his first sandwich on his own - peanut butter and apricots. Yeah - not what I would have chosen, but it worked for him and he was beyond proud!

Spending time with my amazing family on Mother's Day - we were lucky to have Dan's grandma join us from Klamath Falls for the weekend, which made it even more special.

Luke's duckie in time-out. We aren't sure what he did to deserve it, but Luke is a strict enforcer of the rules.

So, that's our world. What's right in yours?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Our new residents...

Better late than never, right?!

So, a few weeks ago, I was talking with Dan (read: whining to Dan) about how much I missed having pets. As the boys are always quick to remind me, we do have a pet. But for some reason, our beta, Sam, just wasn't cutting it for me. I grew up in a home where there were always dogs and cats, and I missed having a furbaby around. Now, Dan has never been the biggest fan - of either the work or mess that comes with pets. But, he was kind enough to give in. The moment he said ok, I was searching And the next night the boys and I drove out to Cat Adoption Team to look for a cat.

It took all of 15 minutes for us to find our new housemates. A bonded pair of young male cats (1 year, and 1.5 years) whose owners surrendered them when they moved overseas won us over. The next night we all drove out and picked them up.

Now it seems like they've always been here. Oden (named by Max after his favorite Blazer, Greg Oden) is our orange tabby - he's a little hyper and more sensitive around the boys. Walter (after Walter Payton, my favorite football player of all time) is a large grey, green eyed guy that licks like crazy and is a serious lap cat. We couldn't be happier with the two of them, and for me, they make the house feel even more like a home.



Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A new routine...

When I was growing up we didn't eat together every night. But when we did, we usually started the meal by saying grace - a brief blessing that helped us to center our focus on the time together and the food in front of us. I loved it.

Since becoming a parent I have wanted to incorporate some sort of grace or blessing into our dinner times. But I wasn't sure what form that should take in our home. I just kept having faith that somehow it would come to us. And it did!

About a month ago, Dan and I were feeling a little frustrated with the boys. It was a grumpy day, and all they had done was whine and complain. So we decided to use what Max loves - his school - to try and help us put a positive spin on things. In his class they often end the day with a "thankful circle" - we tried it at dinner. Max led us through the necessary elements - candles, a rock to pass from person to person (to show whose turn it was to talk), and taught us the song they sing. Each of us took our turn sharing something from our day that we were thankful for, and then we wrapped up with a stirring chorus of "I am thankful".

It worked. Instead of thinking of all that had gone wrong, we were focused on the things that had gone right. The next night the boys asked to do it again. And again the night after that. It's been over a month now and sharing something we appreciated in our day is now a major part of our dinner routine. I love the opportunity to hear what Dan and the boys are thankful for, and appreciate the time to think about my own day.

So that's our "grace". It's not traditional, but it works well for our family.