Friday, November 30, 2018

November Gratitude/ Things to Leave in November

November is THE month for gratitude, ad I had it in spades.  I AM EVEN GRATEFUL FOR SPADES.

We're healthy.  Our kids are healthy.  All of our parents an sibling and their partners and kids are healthy.  How could I be anything but abundantly grateful?  We have everything we need and most of the things we want, and we hosted Thanksgiving so there are leftovers.  Still.  So many.  I got my hair cut and colored.  I have read amazing books, including new ones by my favorite authors.  The kids are doing well in school. Sweet little Jack, who was so overwhelmed by 5th grade work in the first couple weeks of school that I sent a goal for myself of having him be self-sufficient at it by the end of the year, can do all of his work by himself without complaint or any help already and it's not even Christmas.  Harry chose a World's Greatest Dog ornament at the Christmas tree farm, because SHE IS.  We went out with wonderful friends and saw movies and made delicious food.  We had movie nights, and I started running again on the elliptical, or at least walking fast enough to beak a sweat.  And I? Am grateful for all of it.

What I am leaving in November:

No doing yoga.

I want to do it!  The problem is, I set myself an everyday goal, and I cannot do it everyday.  The rest of my everyday gets in the way, and then I don't do it and I feel so so so guilty about it.  So I wind up being angry at myself which always makes she angry at others AND ALSO my back and shoulder are starting to hurt again, and I had ZERO shoulder pain when I was doing yoga on the regular, even when I have PMS, which is when my shoulder always always hurts.

Ok.  I want to do yoga.  Now, how in the hell am I going to make that happen?

Well, wouldn't you know, Gretchen Rubin has written a WHOLE BOOK about how to make a habit stick, and in that book, she has 21 strategies for keeping habits.  Here are the ones I want to try:

Strategy of Monitoring:  I will do yoga 3 times a week for 30 minutes per session.  It is hard for me to find 30 minutes in a row-- I have started breaking my cardio into 2 or 3 chunks, but since I only do cardio 5 days a week, I can do yoga on the weekends and then find 30 minutes SOME OTHER TIME one day a week.  I think this is doable.

Strategy of Pairing:  I am only going to burn this amazing pink Himalayan sea salt candle I have when I do yoga.  This will help me WANT to make time.  I truly love this candle, and I just don't burn it because I am cheap and it always sells out.  But!  If it burns all the way down, I will be so proud of myself for doing that much yoga that I won't mind getting a new one. And if Madewell doesn't have any, I can choose from a billion delicious candles at Homegoods (I just discovered their candle selection last weekend and YES).  So special candle= MOAR yoga.

Strategy of the Clean Slate:  I totally biffed yoga in November, but December!  Is a whole new month!

Strategy of Convenience: Putting yoga on the weekend is where I hope to play into this strategy.  And!  I hate the kids waking me up by bursting into the bedroom with Beatrix when I am sound asleep.  I think waking up 30 minutes earlier to make coffee and do some gentle yoga is exactly what my weekends need.  I am also going to look for a couple of videos (so much good yoga on Prime) for bedtime specifically because a lot of night I fall asleep on the couch watching TV, and I might have more TV stamina if I took a slow 30 minutes to unwind with yoga before plopping down on the couch for the night.

Well, there you have it.  I love my life, but  would love it more with yoga on the regular.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Light, Literally, at the Zoo

We like to go look at pretty lights to kick off the holiday season. If we are at my parents' house we go to a really cool drive-through exhibit.  In Madison, we like Zoolights to best, so we bundled up and headed out Friday night.  

The zoo is normally not ever open at night, so things were... dark.  And most of my pictures are terrible.
 Things improved after my dad bought everyone the light-up necklaces they coveted.
 But only slightly.
 I did get a few winners

The weather was a balmy 45-degrees.  No one spilled their hot chocolate.  WE SAW SANTA.  Holidays 2018 are off to the perfect light start.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


You all know by now that I am a YUGE Gretchen Rubin fan. Like, I would tell you to buy me her new book for my birthday, but it comes out in March, so will have read it 6 times by May.   On the most recent episode of Happier, she talked about having a motto for the holiday season that could serve as a theme.  I have been thinking about this with at least part of my brain all day, and I think my motto will be be LIGHT.  I considered comfort and joy, joy, deck the halls, and merry, but I really like light for a couple of reasons.

First, it's a nod to the ukkah side of Chrismukkah, and that side always gets neglected because the Chrism side is so flashy.

Second, it has tons of meanings.  Like, literal LIGHT-- such an important thing in this dark, cold month.  But also light like happy and whimsical, which is something I need to be reminded to be, especially because I get caught up on making everything perfect, which, of course, can get in the way of having any fun.  I read a great column in Family Circle this month, and the author said what she remembered most about her mom during the holidays was how light she was-- happier, more relaxed, less serious-- and what a great way to be remembered.  Also, um, light.  Like STOP EATING AND DRINKING ALL OF THE THINGS MY GOD TAKE IT EASY YOU OLE SOAK.  So, I mean, there's that, too.

There you have it.

Holiday 2018 will be a time of light.

Like this:

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Thanksgiving: 2 Years Makes a Tradition

We got things off to a super hygienic start:

 Cooper supervised the turkey's bath.
 He also helped make rolls
 As you can see, the kitchen got increasingly more trashed as the day went on.  The day I am referencing, by the way?  TUESDAY. The day I cooked all of the things.  ALL OF THEEEEEEEEM.
 Also?  We totally moved the room around, and I LIKE it.
 I bought all this cute stuff from Target for the kiddie table, but then I decided to just put it on the walls.  Dorothy loves to color the walls.

 Gorge turkey,
 Quick dog walk
 General clowning around:

 Dessert  ALEADY?

 MY TRIFLE!  LOOKED JUST LIKE THE PICTURE!  And you guys!  IT WAS SO GOOD.  I know if it very fall, and this is (FINALLY OMG I LOVE IT SO MUCH!) the holiday season, but dudes, you guys, you HAVE to MAKE IT.

Smell you next year, Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 26, 2018


And look at my pretty table!!

I have more to say but it is shaping up to be a WEEK, so I will update you soon, my friends.  (Like, tomorrow, because this post a day resolution is basically the only one I have kept.)

Sunday, November 25, 2018

What We're Eating This Week 48/52

I plan to milk these leftovers until we all almost die of food poisoning.  (Kidding.  But only a little).

We will FOR SURE have Pioneer Woman turkey tetrazzini. I will also make her cinnamon rolls to eat with eggs and the rest of the ham.

And of course sandwiches galore.  I bought all of the cheeses, our favorite breads, leaf lettuce, and wasabi sauce, so we could be ready to start sandwiching on Friday.

And also!  Thyme-y turkey frame soup

By the end of the week, I imagine we will finally be ready to leave Thanksgiving behind and eat pasta.  I think a nice simple sausage and peppers would be perfect.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Can you even?

I cannot even believe how big my tiny little kids are.  Harry is a SEVENTH GRADER.  And you know what?  His 7th grade year is halfway over.  He plays basketball for his middle school team, and he is in a Shakespeare play, and I swear to you it was just the other day that I was making these adorable little first birthday favors.
And Jack?

Is 10  T-E-N.  Almost 11.  WHEEEEEEEEN?

You guys would not even believe him on the diving board.

Cooper, thankfully, still has a little bit of baby in his fat hands and doughy feet and adorable mispronunciations.  But.  he can pull any book off the shelf and read it.  He is almost never up for a random cuddle anymore.  And also he has 6-pack abs and his Flinstone feet stink.

Dorothy had her 5-year well-child check (shut up-- I am running a little behind), which is the last check up that our HMO gives kids a book (a book that Cooper opened up and read to her while I chatted with the doc) (they are on the same check up schedule and have been for years because we always called them "the babies" which they are not anymore).  But she doesn't need an old picture book because she? Is already writing in her diary.

What is even happening??  When did they all grow up??

Friday, November 23, 2018


Heck, while you are reading this, we are probably Griswolding ourselves a tree.

But!  Last week! While Harry had a hockey game, I took the 3 little kids (and, really that's a passé label because NONE OF THEM IS LITTLE) to an adorable tree lighting at a local outdoor mall.  On our way to find a bathroom (always-- we always need to find a bathroom) we ran into Santa, who was being led to the tree lighting by his handlers.  Dorothy was waving with her entire body and quivering with happiness and excitement, and he said he'd see her in a minute, and her entire season was made.

We stopped at 7-Eleven for $.99 hot chocllate on the way-- this is a total PROTIP, by the way, and the mall had little cups of popcorn.  Jack said, "Hot chocolate and popcorn?  And a candy cane?  These are all of my favorites!" (May always be so delightfully easy to please)
 They took a couple official event photos, too
 I LOVE this backdrop.  Planning  date night just for the Insta pics
 Dorothy could play with these magnet snowmen for days.  We are headed back for sure.
 Santa asked for help ringing bells to light the tree.  Everyone likes to have help ringing the bell they are wearing around their neck.  (Cooper was the only person who didn't lose his bell between getting it and 30 minutes later when it was time to ring it).
 Group pic with Santa-- so sweet!

A children's choir sang carols.  The air was crisp and clear.  We went to a to store just to look and no one lost their shit.  It was magical.  Happy golden days, indeed.