Bad vs. Good

Hi Blog! I am so overdue on an update! Where do we even start?

Last week sucked. If I could show you just one photo to summarize the week, it would be this.

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Of course, I don’t have enough self control to limit myself to just one photo and, of course, I am being melodramatic because although there were a lot of bad parts, there were good parts too.

Tom was sick. It sucks when he’s sick because he’s my main man! Things just aren’t as easy or fun or happy when he’s not feeling well. Thankfully he is on the mend (that’s the good part!).

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The neighbor’s dog chased Charlie into a tree and he got stuck. I was just about to call the fire department when he slid down the trunk and landed on his feet. He’s seriously some kind of miracle cat.

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He hid under the bed after his ordeal until the boys tempted him out with tuna. It is clear that Charlie is my soulmate because I am easily tempted with food too.

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He’s been getting a lot of TLC since then. I’m not sure if he would consider that a good or bad thing.

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Soccer season is in full swing, which means a lot of time on the fields. The good part is that after 7+years of soccer, I finally bought myself a folding chair. Game changer! Funny how I was so cheap about a $10 chair.

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Littlest wanted to start a secret club so I showed him how to design a logo on Illustrator.

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I was really proud of how hard he worked on it.

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Of course when I came back, I found this…

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Biggest left this for me on the counter. The mint sprig was a nice touch. He is such a sweet boy. I can’t bring myself to eat that tomato.

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Stephanie and I spent the day together on Saturday. I got to visit her new house (swooooon!) and go antiquing (yay!) and have lunch (mmm…). Friend days are just what you need sometimes.

There hasn’t been a ton of stitching going on, but there’s been a little progress.

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Note to self: Make time to stitch this week.

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How are you?

So something really exciting happened…

Has anyone gotten the newest issue of Cross Stitch Collection magazine???

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That’s ME on page 5! OMG!!!!!!!!

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This is my favorite cross stitch magazine and I am equal parts flattered/excited/unworthy/embarrassed for the attention/thrilled to be in it.

Now I suddenly feel tongue tied, like I should write something funny and brilliant and cross stitchy… instead of my usual goofy cat-centric family stories.

So anyway…

The boys were off from school yesterday. I took off from work too. They invited friends over, so all day I listened to the sounds of kids playing and fighting and making up and asking for food and losing their shoes and slamming the door as they went inside and out and back again a million times. It was a perfect kind of day.

It’s always nice to have friends over because the boys have fun and I get to sneak in some time for myself. We all know what that means…

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YAY! I am loving this pattern. It’s great for jumping around from motif to motif, so things don’t get boring. Well, except for the big black area which will be her skirt. I am putting that off for now.

And did you spy the orange leaves? Happy FALL!

Hello Monday

Hi Blog!

This weekend, we: did taxes, watched soccer, went on a date, did chores.

Biggest and his friend walked alone all the way to his friend’s house. They had quite an adventure and stopped to play in the creek along the way. For some reason, this made me so happy… an example of his becoming more independent and confident. My boy is growing up so fast!

I, on the other hand, seem to be growing more dependent and anxious and weary with each passing day. I need to get out of this funk pronto.

The weather is so lovely these days, warm during the day and just chilly enough at night to open the windows. Charlie has been sneaking out more and more often. He is so fast that we have a hard time keeping him in. Yesterday he came running inside with a chipmunk in his mouth! It was chaos as the boys and I tried to catch Charlie and his chipmunk. Can’t say that it’s ever boring at our house!

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Enjoy your week!

The Great Pumpkin

I bought a table this past weekend and the guy gave me a pumpkin to go with it.

Behold… the first pumpkin of the season. (And my new table! Wheeee!)

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I am a traditionalist when it comes to pumpkins. Pumpkins = orange. But I am kinda in love with this white pumpkin and am thinking of embracing all white pumpkins this Fall. I know… talk about stepping outside of my comfort zone! Take that, Anxiety!

Speaking of comfort zones and anxiety, I am really pushing the limits (and I’m not just talking about white pumpkins). This is a big week for me and Tom as we are poised to make huge financial decisions. Eeeep! Can you envision me curling up into a tightly wound ball of stress, because that is exactly what is happening.


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I have been in a bit of a bad way these last 2 weeks. Work has been particularly draining and parenting challenges leave me fraught with anxiety. At times like this, I really have to work hard at being positive and keeping things in perspective. Easier said than done.

On that note… Today I am thankful for:

Funny kids.

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This sweet boy enjoying his new school.

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Just happening to be at the pet store on kitty adoption day.

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Setting goals and accomplishing them with my love.

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Cutie McCutes

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OK. I feel better.

First Day

It’s hard to believe that another Summer has come and gone.

The boys had their first day of school yesterday, so I took the obligatory first day of school photos. I think that this picture really shows their difference in personalities. 3rd and 5th grade!

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I was so excited to get home and hear about their days. Me: How was your day!?? Was it fun?? Did you like your teachers?!! Who’s in your class??!! Them: Eh… good. 

Boys! After some prodding, I did eventually get the scoop. The teachers were nice. They have friends in their classes. The bus ride was fun. They liked the fancy sandwiches that I packed for lunch (grilled pesto chicken on french baguette… Let’s see how long I last before it goes back to salami on grocery store white bread).

Around here…

I was a lucky duck and got to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I made two batches of soap!

Oatmeal & Brown Sugar and Castile Soap with Lemongrass

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I’m digging the Oatmeal soap. The Castile soap seems too crumbly. Hopefully it will improve as it cures.

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In an unprecedented turn of events, Charlie was discovered sleeping in his own bed. The one that was bought specifically for him when he first came home. The one that he has never even given a second glance. Go figure.

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Last night, Tom had to run an errand after dinner. This is what the animals do until his safe return. Our animals are so funny.

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After a long hiatus, I FINALLY had time to stitch! I made a little nest for myself outside while the boys entertained themselves with the hose and buckets of water.

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It was like rediscovering an old friend.

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I made some progress.

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Of course, Charlie had to get into the act.

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Some things never change.

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Cat & Mouse

Work has been a doozy. On weeks like these, the “quit my job and move to a farm in the middle of nowhere and homeschool the kids” fantasies come in full force.

Thank goodness that we have a 3 day weekend to look forward to. I plan to get the house in tip top shape for the start of school next week; organized, food prepped, clothes washed… YAY!

Now that Charlie has experienced Outside, he sneaks out every chance that he gets. We are getting more used to the idea since he stays close to the house and comes when called… but are not used to the presents that he’s been leaving. Our kitty boy is quite the mouser! I never doubted that Charlie would be a generous and capable provider, but do wish that he wasn’t so prolific.

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Happy Friday!

Goodbye Summer.

We had a full and busy weekend. On Saturday, we hosted a big family party for Littlest’s birthday. It required a lot of cooking and cleaning and freaking out, which are my favorite things to do (cooking and cleaning, not freaking out).

On Sunday, we went fishing. I filmed the boys for 4 minutes reeling in a HUGE FISH, before we realized that it was a snag. It was exciting though while it lasted.

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I am always surprised that the boys actually enjoy fishing, because they are usually into higher energy (i.e. noisier) activities. I’m not complaining! It’s great to see them liking something that does not require batteries.

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Our guests left this morning and school begins next Tuesday! Summer is almost officially over!

The weeks are always busy once school starts, but I am looking forward to getting back into our regular routines. It feels good to get things accomplished.

Speaking of accomplishments, Tom has been working really hard at work AND at house renovations. I am so proud of and thankful for him! Sometimes I sneak around and take pictures of him, which he hates, but I think are cute. Here he is doing construction drawings. He is old school about certain things which cracks me up … no CAD for this guy!

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Hope that you all are enjoying the week. Happy Tuesday!

Around here

Hi Blog!

We currently have house guests. While it is always nice to see the people who come to visit, house guests make me so angsty and stressed. I am truly a creature of habit and solitude, best when surrounded with only my routines and people (and cat).

What has been going on around here? Let me tell you.

There was a big storm and our basement flooded. It sucked.

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My Littlest celebrated his 9th birthday. Guess he’s not so little anymore. I sure do love that chatty, funny, spirited, thoughtful kid.

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We have fully embraced the Zoodle. They are so good! From this…

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To this! Ta-daaa! You almost forget that you’re eating something healthy (ick!).

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Tom and I went to see Billy Joel in concert.

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We had terrible seats, but have fun no matter what.

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Charlie discovered OUTSIDE and he really likes it. I was surprised when I was going about my business and spotted this Peeping Tom (Charlie) in the window.

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Hope that you’re enjoying these last days of Summer!

Colonial Daze

Hi Friends! How are things?

We really enjoyed Williamsburg. I was pretty lazy about taking photos, so here is a random selection:

I think everyone who goes to Williamsburg has a picture like this. Littlest perfected his tortured look.

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Everything is so symmetrical! Squeeee!!! This house looks like it’s straight off of a cross stitch sampler.

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It is nearly impossible to get a photo of everyone smiling. When did these boys get so tall?!!!

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We all loved the ghost tour and I looooooved the house tours. It’s so interesting to hear how people lived back then.

Our tour guide was so cute. She was very enthusiastic!

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One house had cool needlework.

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And check it out! The chair! The wallpaper! And do you see the embroidery hoop?!!! I want to go back in time and be a colonial woman!

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Speaking of which, they had this event which I was BUMMED to miss.

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And, hellooooo…

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Aren’t these dresses great? I refrained from buying one though, as the boys would have been mortified for sure.

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But that didn’t stop me from trying on a bonnet. Here I am nonchalantly pretending to read Poor Richard’s Almanac.Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 9.06.55 AM

The boys only had so much patience for Colonial Williamsburg, so we broke it up with visits to Busch Gardens…

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And Water Country USA. The waterpark was hands down their favorite part of the trip.

Of course it is always so great to get back home. We had a whole weekend to (slowly) catch up.

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I think that the animals missed us.

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Charlie hasn’t left my side (I’m OK with that).

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