August Goals

IMG_2083.jpg

Hi there!  Can you believe it’s August 1???  Summer always goes so quickly, but I think it went especially quickly this year.  Maybe I’m just comparing it to my previous summer when I was on maternity leave from mid-April to the end of the school year and THEN had summer break too!

I love having some goals/checklists going on to help me focus my time and energy AND ensure I get things done to have plenty of time to slow down as well.  I know I will miss all my extra, small moments with the kids once we are back in school mode (p.s. I’m a teacher so school mode affects us all).  Without further delays, here are some things I need/want to tackle in August.

Home Stuff:

  • Finish washing windows
  • Order prints to add to our family photo albums
  • Sell baby monitor and pump (or donate)
  • Clean house thoroughly including a floor mopping
  • Research (and hopefully return) returning deck pickets that were ordered online
  • Decorate with a “Back to School” theme

Me Stuff:

  • Schedule hair cut
  • Put on new windshield wipers
  • Schedule car inspection
  • Review documents that I brought home at the end of the school year
  • Create goal charts for students
  • Vacuum car
  • Make decisions about upcoming commitments (3)
  • Spend time praying, reading the Bible, and writing daily
  • Blog as much as possible
  • Go on a date with my love
  • Read as many books as possible 🙂
  • Get a birthday present for my brother

Kid Stuff:

  • Pick up H’s recent immunization record and copy of his recent physical
  • Purchase H’s school supplies
  • Purchase H’s new soccer equipment
  • Buy fall event tickets (2)
  • Take H on a Mommy & Son date again
  • Sort/donate some old toys

Attitude:  It is my hope, prayer, and intention to cherish this next month.  I am committed to not following the cycle of worry, fear, and fatigue.  If I insist on doing things my way, I can expect to feel anxious.  I’m trying to rely on myself versus relying on my Savior.

Natalie

“Are we there yet?!” Half Marathon Talk and End of Summer List

Hi there!  This week is zooming by!  Exactly seven days left of summer vacation {not counting the weekend} for us.  Whomp whomp.  This is how I feel about that…

IMG_4011.jpg

I actually sent this picture to the Mr. when he asked me what I was cooking for dinner on Monday night.  I am/was cooked out after Helen’s big weekend!  Daddy to the rescue!  He’s grilled up whatever I’ve put in front of him so far this week.  We’ve had grilled chicken and hot dogs.  I’m going to miss grilling season aka less dishes to wash season.

P.S.  The dogs pictured below were super good!  Courtesy of my fave, Trader Joe’s.

89703-uncured-beef-hotdogs.png

So I was pretty cranky yesterday, and I absolutely hate that!  It was a terrible combination of a hot, muggy day that kept us inside AND a lot of organization to do.  Trying to organize with two kiddos (and Helen’s not even mobile!) will make one cra-zay.  I did manage to get our bathroom closet and linen/craft closet reorganized, consolidated, and just generally more presentable.  I also tortured myself more by having Holden try on ALL his pants, shirts, coats from last winter to determine what new stuff he needs.  Oh.my.  I’m not sure who had less fun, me or him.  I can happily report most his shirts still fit, but he did need all new pants.  Online shopping to the rescue!  Done!

I really think my crappy mood stemmed from not being about to do much in the exercise department recently.  I had a bunch of food pain after a long run last Thursday morning.  Please hide your eyes from the picture below if you are squeamish…

IMG_4021.jpg

My frightening toenails are all shades of yellow to purple.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to {eventually} lose the nails on the three middle toes.  😦  Not sure what is going on with my feet, but I know my mind and the rest of my body parts are willing to really go for it in this upcoming half-marathon.  My feet, however, are not cooperating.  Helen and I spent some quality time at the local running store today, and I did come home with a new pair of shoes.  Yes, I just bought new shoes in June.  This goes against every fiber of my fiscally conservative body.  However, I really don’t want to NOT be able to race in just a little over two weeks.  I bought a whole size bigger shoe.  I wear an 8.5 in regular shoes.  Previously, I’ve worn a 9 in running shoes.  I’m now up to a 10 in New Balances.  What?!?  Yes, I also switched brands to allow for more toe room based on how New Balance designs shoes.

IMG_4022.jpgIMG_4023.jpg

I immediately came home and tried them out on the treadmill while Helen napped.  Results:  Felt good…no toe pain…still side of the foot – left foot pain.  All in all, I’ll take it. I’m thinking that I will just have to take about 6 weeks off from running after the half to let my foot totally recuperate.  Not cool, but it’s also not cool to have pain.  I feel like I’m saying just a little longer…hold on just a little longer feet!  I can’t wait to run this race, and then just chill on running.  Today I ran 3.6 miles. Here’s my last mile…

IMG_4018.jpg

What else isn’t cool around here, you ask?  Our leaky chimney!  The Mr. determined that our paneling {yes, aren’t we cool!} is buckling due to a leak.  I’m very appreciative of his conscientious handy work, but I was less than thrilled when he decided to get a crow bar out at start whipping down this wall at 7:30.  I just wanted to watch the Olympics in peace with a brownie and my favorite guy {<-he was on a one way track to “fix this wall or bust”).

IMG_4014.jpgIMG_4015.jpg

Yikes.  This project continues tonight.

This morning I became painfully aware of how many loose ends that I want to tie up before I head back to work.  I was filling out Miss Helen’s pile of paperwork for daycare!  Let’s see how I’m doing on my “End of Summer” list!

House Stuff:

  • Make a chalkboard sign for the kitchen Delegated to the Mr. – He’s going to finish it up soon!
  • Redo hall pictures  Done!
  • Clean out summer clothes  Not yet
  • Put prints in photo album  Done!
  • Buy blender for baby food making  Done!

 

Me Stuff:

  • Renew blog?  Always torn about this!  I’m always really into it in the summer, but I tend to fall off in the other seasons.  Renewed!
  • Keep running (and lifting and yoga and just fitnessy stuff)  Trying to stay injury free!
  • Get ready to do budget recon in September – I plan on writing down EVERYTHING I buy in the month of September.  Oh.my.
  • Get a haircut! – I haven’t had one since March! Did this!
  • Organize school papers/materials that I brought home in April (seems like a lifetime ago)  Organized and ready to head back to school
  • Read 2 books for fun  Yes!
  • Eat as much watermelon as possible  Sadly my last two have been duds!  Maybe the season is over!

 

Holden’s Stuff:

  • Finish baby book – Yikes!  I really fell off the bandwagon with this one.  I’m trying to be inspired by Helen’s and finish up Holden’s.  😦  got to do this!
  • Get Holden’s school supplies  Mostly done – just need some pictures to send in with him
  • Get fitted for a little boy tux for Auntie Brookie’s wedding  Yes!  
  • Art Museum Pre-K Day  Tomorrow – excited to see what this is like!
  • Visit Farmer’s Market
  • Maybe another fishing trip???  He went clamming instead and loved it!
  • School shoes!  Next week
  • Fro-yo date – Mommy & Holden Next week

 

Helen’s Stuff:

  • Work on baby book  continuous
  • Outfit for Auntie Brookie’s wedding  purchased – not sure about shoe situation
  • Find some cute clothes to fit this growing baby!  Mostly did this!  Just need some bigger onesies and perhaps a few more leggings
  • Review baby food making business – I love this book!    On my list for the next couple days
  • Baptism and Reception – Planning, Decorating, Cooking, and Enjoying!  So did this!
  • Get everything ready for the daycare transition  Mostly ready – just need paperwork filled out by dr. at our upcoming 4 month appointment – we also need to buy diapers and diaper creme to go with her

 

I do have a couple more items to add to the list:  Roscoe for a mani/pedi {much to his dismay} and an inspection for my car.  I also have a couple more books I’d like to spend some quality time with.  I feel like the race is really on to use this time wisely and also enjoy time at home.

What end of summer activities do you take on?

Do you start a new calendar in January or with the school year, September?

Any fun back-to-school traditions?

Have a happy hump day!

Natalie

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Goals- 4 weeks left!

I can’t believe that it’s only a little over 4 weeks left of my maternity leave/ summer vacation!  It has been (mostly) so wonderful!  I really want to make the most of the time I have left, so I made a list of some end-of-summer goals.

House Stuff:

  • Make a chalkboard sign for the kitchen
  • Redo hall pictures
  • Clean out summer clothes
  • Put prints in photo album
  • Buy blender for baby food making

 

Me Stuff:

  • Renew blog?  Always torn about this!  I’m always really into it in the summer, but I tend to fall off in the other seasons.
  • Keep running (and lifting and yoga and just fitnessy stuff)
  • Get ready to do budget recon in September – I plan on writing down EVERYTHING I buy in the month of September.  Oh.my.
  • Get a haircut! – I haven’t had one since March!
  • Organize school papers/materials that I brought home in April (seems like a lifetime ago)
  • Read 2 books for fun
  • Eat as much watermelon as possible

 

Holden’s Stuff:

  • Finish baby book – Yikes!  I really fell off the bandwagon with this one.  I’m trying to be inspired by Helen’s and finish up Holden’s.
  • Get Holden’s school supplies
  • Get fitted for a little boy tux for Auntie Brookie’s wedding
  • Art Museum Pre-K Day
  • Visit Farmer’s Market
  • Maybe another fishing trip???
  • School shoes!
  • Fro-yo date – Mommy & Holden

 

Helen’s Stuff:

  • Work on baby book
  • Outfit for Auntie Brookie’s wedding
  • Find some cute clothes to fit this growing baby!
  • Review baby food making business – I love this book!  
  • Baptism and Reception – Planning, Decorating, Cooking, and Enjoying!
  • Get everything ready for the daycare transition

 

Whew!  We are going to be busy!  Hopefully, there will be some beach days in there as well.

Natalie

How’s your summer been?

Any last items you want to check off your summer list?

Favorite summer treats?

Greetings from Vacation Land!

Hi there!  Holden and I have been in “vacation mode” since last Friday.  We are visiting family and hip-hopping between houses.  The Mr. has been able to join us on the weekends.  We miss him a bunch, but I {and I’m pretty sure I can speak for the little man} have so been enjoying the unhurried pace of a whole week with family!  I have oodles of great pictures from the past several days.  I would love to post them, but I must be PC-illiterate when it comes to pictures!  Instead, I’ll just share what we’ve been up to!

visited the NASA Visitor Center on its 70th birthday

had a picnic and play time at a fun park 

enjoyed some famous ice cream 

drove some country roads 

looked for sea glass

enjoyed lots of meals with family

went to a pool and worked on our swimming skills

took a boat ride and ate some dinner on an island beach 

went to the beach with Granny on one of the best beach days in history!

picked some fresh veggies from aunt and uncle’s garden

took good care of our doggieafter he injured himself 😦

had a park play date and picnic with old/new friends

dined on all sorts of Mexican dishes at aunt and uncle’s home

Whew!  I admit to being TIRED this morning!  My little man has been up past his bedtime every.single.night.  We’ve been so on-the-go!  I brought all these books and magazines and have read maybe a few minutes before bed TWO nights.  That’s it!  Today, we are taking it easy with a late breakfast and some Curious George.  Is it weird that he kind of makes me want a pet monkey?

We’ve still got 4 days of our vacation left!  🙂  I know they’ll fly by!  Since it’s July 2nd, I decided to do up some goals for July.  Here are my June goals…

img_1752

We did many mom and kid play dates in June.  CHECK!

I finished American Wife and also read Spring Chicken.

I’ve still been slacking on the yoga.  😦

I’m doing to Proverbs Bible study, but I’ve missed the past three days (M-W) due to vacation craziness.  Going to try to get back on track during H’s nap today!

We do have a lose schedule for our summer days.  Obviously, that schedule has not been followed too much recently.  😉

JULY GOALS:

1)  Read MORE!

2Q==

Amazon Link Here

4176YZLPghL._AA160_

Amazon Link Here

2)  Yoga, good grief!  Will I ever make this goal?!?!?!?  Goal is 3x each week in July!

th

Source

3)  Pictures!  I really want to organize all, print some, and save all the good ones to our external hard drive.  It is overwhelming to think about!

4)  More beach days!  🙂

5)  See a baseball game

6)  Make popsicles again

What are your goals/plans for July?

Any fun plans for the 4th?

Have a great day!

Natalie

May Goals – Better late than never!

Greetings from the good side of Tuesday!  Today was a busy one with lots of last minute preparations for our standardized testing that starts for my grade levels tomorrow.  I also had a doctor’s appointment after school.  Hampton Road is always good for causing some afternoon stress.  I got stuck at a bridge opening on the way to the appointment.  Fortunately, I left early enough to allow myself some “wiggle time.”  As it turned out, I arrived only about five minutes late.

IMG_1600

Yuck, yuck, yuck!  So glad I made it to the appointment only a few minutes late.

We had some beans for dinner with sautéed baby kale and corn.  Noodles with parmesan cheese rounded out the meal.  I feel so industrious and old school when I soak dry beans overnight {note:  this means I’m planning ahead.  Go me!} and boil.  Then, I reboil the night I serve them.  We usually get two meals out of one bag of dried beans {plus lunch leftovers}.

IMG_1599

They are tasty but definitely not visually appealing.  😉

Although things are a mess…see picture below of laundry basket that has been resting in the same spot since Sunday {I actually did do them tonight!  Go me again!}

IMG_1595

H and I decided to focus on one of our April goals that didn’t get accomplished.  This would be planting!  Below are our green beans nestled in the dirt plus a repotted sunflower plant that Holden “made” me for Mother’s Day.  If these plants don’t grow, I’m really giving up on growing things beside children.

IMG_1602 IMG_1603 IMG_1604 IMG_1605 IMG_1606

Isn’t he a cute gardner!?!?  Such a big helper in all things but especially in the yard.

img_1216

I do somewhat okay on my April goals.  I didn’t finish my book.  It was a hard sell for me.  Just couldn’t stay with all the technical info.  We finally got H’s bathing suit from Gymboree straight.  I honestly did 4 returns for different sizes.  He’s a 24m on the bottom and the little swim shirt is a 3T.  Our clothes are switched, and we are wearing our summer duds!  93 was the high here today.  Wow!  I’m sad to report that no date happened with the Mr. in April.  I’m not thinking May is looking too good for a childless adventure anywhere.  BUT we do have a wedding weekend coming up in June that I’m really excited about.  🙂  Here are May goals…only about two weeks into May!

IMG_1607

This is the book I’m trying to finish…

IMG_1608

Hope you had a great day!

Question:  How do you feel about “abandoning books?”  Never would she ever!  <-  So says my sister!  I say why waste your time if you aren’t enjoying it.

Natalie

Spring Break 2015 {Goals & Plans}

Hi there friend!  Today is Day 2 of no work for me!  I must admit that it feels WONDERFUL!  I love having the freedom to see where the day may take us.  Today, it took us to Cloud 9 trampoline park in Chesapeake.

IMG_1286

We made the short drive over to be there for our “flight time” at 9.  Let me tell you that jumping around at a trampoline park is a work-out!  The first visit found me wearing a cute outfit.  Not so this time!  I did a quick shower after hitting the gym this morning, and we were off in work-out style wear again!  Holden had a blast jumping into the foam pits, throwing the soft balls all around {some at me!}, and just jump, jump, jumping!  There are baseball goals, a rock wall, trapeze swing, foam pits, balance beam, tire swing…you name it!  For $8, an adult plus one kid bounces for an hour.  This is the 6 and under hour Monday – Friday from 9-10.  Highly recommend this place!  We played for our hour of time and then visited a Ross store over in Chesapeake that was close to Cloud 9.  I found some sandals to replace my very worn out brown gladiator sandals, organization bins for our pantry, undies {I just hate spending money on these items!  Shouldn’t undies and toilet paper just be free!?!?!}, and sheets.  I have some buyer’s remorse about my sandals as they weren’t EXACTLY what I wanted.  However, they were pretty close, and they were $14.99.  Can’t really beat that!  I check Target and Wal-Mart’s sites for better style and/or price AND nothing.  I don’t really take the time to shop too much these days, so I knew if I didn’t get the shoes that I’d be in a style pickle once work starts up again.

IMG_1289 IMG_1288 IMG_1287

After a quick stop at the grocery store for salad bars salads and fruits plus a California roll to split, we enjoyed lunch on the deck with the Mr.  Ah, spring break!  I’m greatly aware that the days are ticking away so quickly, so I thought it would be a good idea to focus in on what else I’d like to do this break.

Business

  • Pay bills 😦
  • Register for swimming lessons for H
  • Return to Gymboree & Old Navy
  • Wash and vacuum car
  • Move rocks from front flower bed to backyard
  • Clean house
  • Pick up new watch band for the Mr. from Fossil {the man is hard on his stuff!}
  • Grocery shop
  • Make chicken salad
  • Bag up any and all things I can get my hands on to take to Goodwill
  • Hair cut for H {I can’t believe he’s ready for one again!}

Fun

  • Work-out every day – I’m planning runs on Wed., Fri., and Sat.  I’m also planning a yoga DVD on Wed. and gym work-out on Thurs.  {Yes, I include this in “fun.”}.
  • Play date for H {waiting to see what friend of H can do this one!}
  • Visit Color Me Mine or perhaps the trampoline park again
  • Park Visit
  • Visiting Auntie Brookie and all the fun that entails!
  • Walking Roscoe the Doggie-doo every day
  • Journaling daily
  • continuing to read American Wife {just started last night}
  • Invite neighbors over for dinner {This one is easy!   It would be for the following week or weekend!}

Now, I realize this is WAY TOO MUCH to accomplish on what remains of my break.  However, I think making lists and such really helps you focus on what you want to do/have to do and helps you use your time wisely.

How do you feel about list making?

I think some people find it too constraining, but I definitely find it soothing.

Natalie

5 for Friday

Hi there!  Happy Almost Weekend!  I feel like I’ve been on a permanent vacation.  Schools have been open here only two days in the past two weeks!  While trying to make the best of our snowy/icy days, I’ve resorted to lots of Pinterest-ing, cooking, crafts, and {today’s plan} cleaning.

Yesterday, we woke up to more winter weather about several inches of the snow kind.  The Mr.’s offices were closed, so we got to hang out with him {major fist pump!}.  When Daddy’s home, it means the gas logs on which makes me one happy girl.  🙂

{ONE}

The Mr. built a killer snowman for a workout yesterday.  Holden helped decorate him with some household items including a ‘coon skin hat of the faux little boy variety.  They also went over the neighbor’s hill to sled while I stayed inside and did an at-home mainly cardio workout.

a8a811dc2e49ddc0e2c8e015d30c6e28

found via Pinterest from popsugar

Glad I did that workout!  I definitely enjoyed two glasses of Rex Goliath cab sauv wine after dinner last night!

IMG_1073

{TWO}

I also finished this book yesterday.

IMG_1058

A little dated and somewhat centered on homeschool moms/stay-at-home moms, but I really liked it.  She made the effort to put in some applications for today’s {usually} working mom but really drove home the point of how our children need actual “homes” as a haven from their everyday lives.  I also loved how she touched on the importance of creating a home for ourselves.  Very good “big picture” message.

{THREE}

Love these mittens!  I have concluded after this winter blast that neither H nor I have the correct winter gear.  These mittens would be the perfect addition.  Perhaps even wear gloves underneath to layer??

TraditionalWoolCottonimage-400 Berber-400

Photos from Website – See Here

Best of all, Minnesota Mittens provide opportunities for employment of people with disabilities.  Made in America!

{FOUR}

Another Pinterest project…  H and I got supplies at Hobby Lobby, and I taped off his name {twice due to poor quality painter’s tape the first go-round}.  He picked green and blue as his colors.  We painted before breakfast yesterday…take our crafting serious around here!  Then, the Mr. ever so carefully pulled the tape off around lunch time.  The finished work is hanging on his wall.

IMG_1062 IMG_1074

{FIVE}

March goals!  I’m trying to be more intentional {is that possible?} with my time and plans.  I’m for sure a planner, but do what you love, right!?!?  I did add read 2 books to this list.

IMG_1057

I have a gift certificate that will mostly cover a massage and a hair cut at my local salon.  Why, oh why do I keep putting it off?  I am so weird!  I also have a nice gift certificate to go clothes shopping from the Mr. that I have yet to use.  Maybe I should have included that as a goal, too?  The Chrysler Museum is a local art museum that is totally free.  I really want to take Holden for maybe just a portion of it.  Recommendations that I’ve found online say to start with the ancient civilizations exhibit and then meander into a kids’ craft area.

In other snow day news, we decided to brave the elements for a ride out yesterday.  We made our way down to the oceanfront, and I took these pictures.

IMG_1066 IMG_1067 IMG_1071

Somebody couldn’t wait until we got home to get some shut eye!  Top picture is another future hotel site.

We invited our neighbors over last night for BBQ chicken sandwiches, Caesar salad, chips, sweet potato fries, and key lime bars.  Very yummy and so not our usual Thursday night fare!  See BBQ chicken recipe here from Rachel Ray.  Key lime bar recipe was courtesy of Mix and Match Mama.  I don’t typically cook the “full flavor” sugar and butter, but it was a nice treat.  I packed up {most} of the left-over bars and sent them for work treats for the Mr.’s office today.  It was so nice to have time to get together with people we see everyday but are typically “too busy” to talk with.  Love God Greatly is an online women’s Bible study group whose current study focuses on how we {human beings} were made for community and our relationships with each other.  I highly recommend any and all of their Bible studies.  They typically do about an 8 week study with a couple weeks of in between the new and the old.  Check them out!

Happy Weekend!

Natalie