Wednesday, June 29, 2011

june blues

Busy doesn't even begin to explain the last month of our lives. Between swimming, gymnastics, baseball, camp and more, I am pining for some summer relaxation. On top of it all, is my gross underestimation that I could survive the summer with a sitter only one day a week; filling in the gaps at night and on the weekends. This, my friends, is impossible.

Maybe I should have had kids earlier so youth would now be on my side. But alas, "40" is peeking at me with open eyes, taunting me with her snicker right beyond September, making me feel exhausted to the point of tears with my current load. Yes, this over-stretched mama has the June blues.

But right in front of my pal "40" is my true friend "vacation". I can't wait for lazy mornings, water sports, long nighttime boat rides, feeding the fish, soaking up lake life with the kids and PEACE. I can't wait to not drive my car for days. I can't wait until, a few miles from our destination, my AT&T service peters out as it always does. I can't wait to feel the wind in my face, the Carolina heat on my skin and to fill my tummy with the best chicken salad and local tomatoes around. Heck, I can't even wait for the drive.

In the meantime, I'll survive by tapping into the every-three-year revival of the best ice cream flavor on Earth - which coincidentally falls within the range of my "blues" theme - Oberweis' Blueberry Pie. I'm eating it right now. For lunch.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

our natural

Yes, there have been many amazing parenting moments that have whirred past me during the last nearly 10 years. The arrival of much anticipated bundles of joy, us never once knowing their genders, can never ever be topped. But something strange and untraveled is occurring this summer of 2011, and it most definitely makes the highlight role.

The arrival of baseball in our lives has added a whole new dimension to our existence. No longer does he flop and sprawl on bleachers, creating cars from paper cups and dust bunnies just waiting for his sisters to finally finish whatever it is that they're doing. Gone are the one-sided days of Finn cheering on Logan and Riley from the sidelines. Nope, the times, they have changed.

Now, our little man frets over rain cancellations and strike outs. He learns new rules unimaginable to him just days ago. He makes friends in the outfield while scrambling after a wayward throw. He, and every one of his teammates, hits the ball, forgets to run, forgets to drop the bat and stops to remove the batting helmet - every single time - while parents and coaches happily shout reminders from beyond. He has one hand in glove and one in his pocket, while he chews his over-sized gum. And our baseball player loves every minute.

We have never been so amused. Look for the Flying Squirrels in a town near you!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

security breach

What it shocker it was a few weeks ago when Logan approached me right before leaving for school to announce that two neighborhood friends had told her that Santa was not real. She started her conversation by saying, "Mom, you know all the things that I believe in?" That question threw me for a bit of a loop, but she soon added,"Like Santa and the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny?" I chuckled that this is the sum total of what my nine year old believes in.

She quickly told the story of two little gals who informed her that, even though I would tell her differently, her parents really are those things. They even went so far as to try to convince her by adding, "Our Moms are who told us!"

I stood, stunned, waiting for a direct question, to which I instantly decided that I would not answer with a lie. It never came. Instead, Logan said,"Mom, I just asked them to please stop saying these things to me. I said that I'm just not ready for this to be over for me yet."

Sadness rushed over me. In her heart of hearts, she knows, but she's mature enough to know that she's not ready to know. I did not confirm or deny for now, but I fear her days are numbered. Still, she's making a big push for both an iPod Touch and a Nook for Christmas this year. When I say that those are two expensive gifts and that she can't ask for both, she says, "But Mom, Santa won't mind how much it costs!"

What a tangled web we weave!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I recently caught the tail-end of an interview with author, Neil Pasricha, who wrote The Book of Awesome. The thing that caught my attention as he rattled off a verbal list of life's true and tiny pleasures was when he said, "People just don't realize that the best things in life really are free."

This was quite a revelation to a gal with a weekly column about frugal living. After two years of writing it, I've had occasional struggles generating fresh ideas on a very popular topic. I find the column has slowly morphed into a bit of a simple living column, focusing more on finding ways to live your best life, within the confines of financial peace. The fact that the best things in life really are free made perfect sense to me.

Later that night, the five of us sat at the table outside eating a late summer dinner, which has already become the season's norm. For me, that alone falls into the "best things in life" category. It was only made better by what we were eating: artichokes.

What a soul-filler-upper it was to gather together and eat full artichokes, each one of our kids enjoying them just as much as Mike and me. We scooped and slurped and piled the leaves onto bona fide artichoke plates, given to a younger, artichoke-loving Mike by his Grandmother Taggart. There were the gentle reminders to only eat the bottom of the leaves, the quiet arguments over the last puddles of melted butter and the yummy noises only heard when something as delicious as an artichoke is being enjoyed.

All that work, leaf after leaf, tiny morsel after tiny morsel, only to arrive at the scary-looking and unexpected choke. But it did not detour us, we kept at it, worked hard, scraped away the unappealing and arrived at our destination: the heart. Funny how the artichoke is sort of like life. Aren't they both all about the heart anyway?

We all agreed. For us, eating artichokes is most definitely one life's greatest pleasures.

Friday, June 3, 2011

good character

Of all the things to be known for, I'd say that good character might be the best. Today, Logan was surprised by being honored in front of the whole student body as one of two representatives from the 3rd grade class who best represent good character every day. I just wish we could've been in the crowd to watch!! Our little neighbor community cheered her on, as I'm sure Riley did, too. They were all so excited for her.

Proud doesn't even begin to cover how we feel! Take a look at her certificate. GREAT JOB LOGAN!