Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Whole 30 Redux

I am on day 10 of my latest Whole30.  I might only do a Whole 27 because Mother's Day is May 12.  I am FOR SURE only doing a Whole 28 MAXIMUM because my damn birthday is on May 13, and I mean!

But, anyway, I have to report that I fee AMAZING.

I have no idea if I have lost any weight or anything like that, but I just feel so great.  I haven't had the urge to take a nap in the last 9 days, and I am pretty sure it is because I am not eating any carbs.  There is a literal spring in my step.

I know that this means I should probably lay off carbs, you know, forEVER, but we all know that my 41st birthday will see me face down in some champagne and a huge chocolate cake.

In some ways-- actually, in MOST ways-- I HATE how good I feel.  It would be so much better if I still felt all bloated and logy and had heartburn at night.  But, alas. I have boundless energy and really stable moods.  Shit.

This was my favorite meal so far:
Chicken breasts sow cooked with salsa, Rotel, and frozen spinach (I ate them for DAYS) and sweet potato chips in the air fryer (with ghee and TJ's Everything but the Bagel dipped in Tessa Mae's spicy ranch dressing)
For some reason Pinterest bugs me, but I have been making a Google doc with Whole 30 recipes I want to try, and I have all of the ingredients for turkey chili-- If I can get up from my writing cocoon (NOT LIKELY) I will for sure throw it together.

Basically, I have just been obsessing about food and taking pictures of chicken salads.  You?

Monday, April 22, 2019

Hoppy Easter!

After Cooper turned his hands throughly green, we packed up the car and headed to Pekin to celebrate the weekend with family.
And, of course, a quick stop at our alma mater.

Could not resist.

Our old speech team won another national title a couple of weeks ago, and there's a flag flying in their honor on the qaud.  Which is behind the main part of campus that existed when we were students and is a brand new quad, which is SO SO WEIRD.
This was all houses!
Harry was so annoyed that I took a pic of him with a purse.
Future college kid:
From there the weekend was basically all food and selfies.
And bunny ears
The Easter Bunny hid 24 eggs at our hotel, and I did not even get out of bed to take pictures of the hunt #winning
Crappy hotel breakfast-- THEIR FAVORITE
Jack is a champion jumble-doer

Totally amazing pekin view from the hotel pool.
Clowning around at my parents' house

Family pic at brunch
Pretty brunch view

Egg hunt at my parents'

Pocket full of eggs:

Huntley is such a pretty boy.  Yes he is.

The kids were worse than usual on the drive home because they could not WAIT to get to Wisco and see what EB left for them, since his hotel note clearly said their baskets were waiting for them.  Roller blades for all!  And assorted other junk!  And a mom who is doing the Whole30 and couldn't eat their candy!  EVERYONE WINS.  Except, possibly, me.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Happiness lately

I have been really focused on happiness lately.  Selfishly, my own.  Ben's new job ad new hours really threw me for a loop for a few weeks, and I really struggled to get into a good routine.  I felt like I was failing at all aspects of my life pretty much all at once, and it was really hard for us to get into a groove.  Luckily, hockey ended, and we had a nice, fat gap of down time between hockey and the start of baseball/soccer, which made all of us better able to figure ourselves out.

Concretely, here are some things that are making me happy:

1.  My fall course, which will be fully 1000% prepped by June 12, which is the day the kids get out of school.  This class used to be a daunting source of angst and imposter syndrome, but I just dove in and wrangled it into something manageable and -- dare I say--  fun.
2. SUMMER!  I can't wait for the pool! Long lazy days! Teaching online (that class will also be fully prepped by June).  I have a goal to go to the library weekly, to write by myself out of the house 3 times a week, and to do a book club with the kids-- if my plan for this works, I will, of course, blog about it all over the damn place.
3.  SPEECH CAMP:  This is related to #2, but 3 of my old speech friends and I are spending 2 weeks in Peoria running camp, and I cannot even wait!  It's the camp I attended as a high schooler, where I met Ben and some of the people I am still friends with today, and where the trajectory of my whole life sort of came together, assembled itself into the path I have walked.  SO, NO PRESSURE.  Just managing a formative experience for a bunch of high schoolers.
4.  #amwriting:  I am working on my book again and loving it.  I have a revision google doc open next to me as I write, and when I get editing ideas or fin d old threads that won't come together, I am using the doc like a mindfulness worry balloon and putting these things there and letting them go.  For now.  This helps me clear the stench of failure from my nose and just put my head down and write.
5.  Lunches.  I am making a conscious effort to fill up my lunch calendar, and I lurve it.  Even on the Whole 30, which is a different post for a different day.
6.  Date nights.  Even if we are just going to watch baseball together.
7.  Acupuncture:  This has ben YUGE for me.  It makes me feel like me again, and I love having a cozy hour to meditate or solve an intellectual problem or sleep.  I am going weekly right now, but after 8-10 weeks, I am switching to a 1-2 times a month maintenance a schedule that will be lighter on my wallet.
8.  Bar trivia.  What can I say?  I love it.
9.  The adorable coffee shop by my (not available this semester) office that is perfect and adorable and a fun place to hold office hours since my own building is still uninhabitable.  I miss seeing my colleagues in the halls and in the mail room, and this place is somewhere to bump into friendly faces and have a perfect pour-over.
10.  The KIDS:  This seems nuts because I remember when they were tiny and taking care of them was basically all I could do without falling apart everyday.  Now, they are big kids who ca do all of the things by themselves and are funny ad mostly just plain fun.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Happy 11th birthday Jack!

This picture of Jack writing thank you notes on his birthday morning pretty much sums him, up.  He's the best.
 Not only is Jack officially a TWEEN, but he is in his last year of elementary school, so we have reached a particularly poignant milestone:  THE LAST SCHOOL BIRTHDAY TREAT. **sob**

He wanted vanilla frosted cupcakes with chipped cream filling and Star Wars rings.  AND HE GOT THEM.

 The lady at the cute cupcake supply store I love finally helped me find the right coupler and frosting bags for my perfect cupcake frosting tip
 He also wanted an Oreo cheesecake, which was easy to make thanks to my spring from pan, which I have never used before and am in love with
 On Jack's birthday eve, he really wanted to play bar trivia, SO WE DID, and we got 4th place.  The kids are actually really good at bar trivia, and we found a place by our house that plays lightening league trivia--only half a song for each question, and it's over by 8.  Can we say FAMILY DATE NIGHT?!!
 Team Happy Birthday Jack!
 Wearing his birthday swag:
 I seriously love our fun birthday mornings, part of the joy of a big family.

 This was cuter than it photographed, especially the teeny pinata above Jack's chair.
 After school, he went to Target and Dick's to spend gift cards, always a great time (and he still has a card and cash for Barnes and Noble, but I could not take the other kids there without getting mauled for books, and I can never pass up books, so Ben is taking him after baseball because GAH).
 He bought a new Pop Socket at target because he is, after all, a tween.  Also we had breakfast for birthday dinner YAY!
 We sort of front loaded our celebrations because we spent Jack's birthday night watching Harry perform in The Sound of Music
So, he had his awesome birthday party last weekend, and he's still at the age where his friends are sweet and adorable.  Ben got all the kids hooked on golf, and when Tiger won, they had a celebratory dip in the pool.  They also spent a ton of time being all bro-y in the hot tub.  So cute!