Wednesday, January 30, 2019

It's Cold

Compared to the Midwest, we have no room to talk, but this happened...
Our poor fountain in the center of campus is a bowl of icicles, which I think is gorgeous. I am certainly lucky to work in such a beautiful place.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

This Kid Cracks Me Up

Evan asked me to take this picture yesterday morning:
He wanted to send it to Aunt Shannon to say thank you for the most cozy, comfortable sweatshirt ever.

You may notice it's a sweater. And he's wearing it with sweatpants. I pick my battles and just took the picture so he could text.

We were halfway to school when he looked down and said, "Wait a minute. Is this a sweater?"

"Yep, Buddy, it is."

"Oh well. It's still the coziest sweatshirt ever!"

He is a hot mess, but he's my hot mess.

Monday, January 28, 2019

I Took Pictures!!!

This post should be titled 2019 Company Showcase, but I so very proud of myself that I got pictures of every costume!

We don't have production costumes yet, and we were down a mini who had the flu, but these six were ready to rock before the show started:
 Issa loves her tap costume because it is super comfortable and soft:
 We got her musical theatre skirt when we arrived yesterday--so glad it fit:
 I love that she is wearing Grandma's earrings and broach for this one:
 This lyrical has an applique that is straight from the devil:
 I had to sew it on while she was in it, and she has the nerve to make this crazy face when I tried to take the picture:
 Dance sisters and the best:
 Jazz is very fun this year:
 And I love the simplicity of her solo costume:
She was so nervous to do her solo. Friday's rehearsal ended when she threw up thanks to a migraine. It was not exactly the best way to go into Showcase, but she rocked it!

I love, love, love watching her on stage, and I just know this is going to be an amazing season!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

A Bad Run

This post will serve as apology to any of my neighbors who had the unfortunate bad luck to witness my run Tuesday night. Yikes.

I usually run Monday, Wednesday, Friday, but the temps were dangerously low Monday. So...when they got slightly warmer Tuesday afternoon, I headed out for my first run of the second week, which added 30 second to the run times. (I'm using a Couch to 5k program that gradually increases your running while decreasing your walking.)

Here's the good news: I'm learning to love the run, and I can do it! It feels great!

Here's the bad news: I discovered after the fact that I had no idea how to run in the cold. I bundled up. I wore a hat. By the mid-point, I was so hot. My hat would not stay on--even under my hood. As it slipped it pulled my ponytail out. I was trying to adjust all of this while running. I'm sure I looked a hot mess. During my cool down, I started to freeze. When I got home, I couldn't stop sneezing. It was a mess.

Thankfully, I turned to the hive mind of my running friends on facebook who helped a girl out. I am not appropriately equipped for today's run (layers, ski mask, etc.). Of course, I live in NC and it will be 50 today and I need none of those things.

It may have been ugly, but this girl isn't giving up.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

My Kids the Big Kids

We made a quick trip up to DC this weekend to visit Tim, Amy, and Mara. Mara is six month old now, and it was the first time Issa and Evan got to meet her!

We always have such a good time with these friends who have become family. It was absolutely freezing up there, so we spent the weekend inside playing board games and playing with Mara. It was perfectly lovely.

It was also a smidge surreal. I'm still not quite used to my kids being the big kids. Watching Issa easily pick up Mara and carry her around. Watching Evan swoop in with a toy or build the tower ten million times so she can knock it down. It was perfectly lovely.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

It's a Dental Miracle...

My children have very special mouths. Issa's is so tiny; Evan is part shark with all his extra teeth. Taking them to the dentist always drums up some kind of crazy I-didn't-even-know-that-was-a-thing nightmare. I find myself wearing pearls and cardigans in some kind of subconscious plea to the their teeth that if I look put together perhaps they can get it together.

This morning, it worked!

I took both kiddos to the dentist, and the lovely hygienist came to get me after their cleanings and she said, "Everything looks great! See you in sixth months!"

I had to clarify that she meant both children and she had in fact looked in their mouths. The latest x-rays show Evan's front teeth are just above the gum line. No one has any new surprises. I just don't even know what to do...

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

2019 is off to a running start...

For the past few Januarys, I have made plans to become a healthier, more balanced human being. It generally looks like me going all in, 110%, until about March when one thing falls apart and I can't manage and getting really frustrated and in a funk because I decide it's some character flaw of mine--super healthy.

So this year, I opted for a different approach for the same goal, and it's working! Instead of jumping in and killing myself (and probably those around me), I've made two or three small changes each week starting the week after Christmas. Thus far, I've:

1. Upped my water intake to the 64 ounces recommended (instead of the ridiculous number I used to pick for no good reason). Most days I drink more than that, but it's a nice, manageable goal.

2. Added a cup of detox tea to my afternoon routine. It's a nice mid-day pause and energizer in one.

3. Went back on my healthier meal plan. I use Always Hungry, which has been a great book for me. Basically, no sugar, no white potatoes, no processed grains. I feel so much better!

4. I've replaced my nightly wine with a mocktail. I've actually had a lot of fun pairing herbs or fruits to pop into sparkling water to match my meal. I realized the wine was more about the ritual, so I changed the ritual. I'll still have a glass of wine occasionally, but I noticed I sleep better without it.

5. Speaking of sleep, I'm a solid seven hour girl now.

6. I've gotten my skin care routine back as a routine!

7. I added a yoga moving meditation to my bedtime routine. I sleep like a rock after it!

8. I've added two morning flow yoga practices to my week--Tuesday and Thursdays mornings at 5:30 I'm on my mat--because no one interrupts at 5:30 am.

9. And what I'm most proud of: I've tied my running shoes back on the other three weekday mornings. The world is still dark and quiet, and I can run without wondering what's happening at home or who is watching my pitifully slow self. It feels good--cold--but good.

I'm leaving the weekend as rest days, which gives me a break so I don't burnout this time, and I am feeling so much better! I'm telling you, 2019 is going to be the year I get it together!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Dress Rehearsal

This weekend, we had Issa's dress rehearsal for the dance season. Since it was such a huge event, I took no pictures. Oops.

It was a great dress rehearsal, though. Issa and I have finally figured out how to do this thing, and it was super low stress--exhausting--but super low stress.

The dances looked so much cleaner than in years past, and we have no tights this year! It's a miracle. What I am most excited about, though, is that Issa is wearing one of Grandma Luzny's broaches and earrings for musical theater.

I just love watching my girl do her thing. Now on to the season...

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

My Apothecary

I've been dabbling in essential oils for about a year and a half now. I tried them at a friend's recommendation, and I couldn't believe how effective they were. OnGuard really did help us stay healthy; Breathe cleared a cold in record time. When I fell and majorly scraped my leg, lavendar and tea tree oils healed it without a scar, and a PainFree herb blend was the only thing that touched the pain. I became a believer, and I happily purchased oils and then tinctures from professionals.

In early December, Brad and I went to an herbal medicine workshop with a licensed herbalist, and I learned a lot about making your own oils, vinegars, and syrups. I did some digging, and I started playing. Then my lovely sister set me up with the beginnings of for some real herbal work, and Brad gave me more than half of the cubes in our room for my little apothecary.

I started playing with vinegars because they are easiest:
 I made fire cider, which is good for just about everything, and I have Five Thieves Vinegar steeping right now, which is great for cutting colds short.

I also made my first balm:
It's a cayenne-based balm for muscle and joint pain, and it did seem to help Brad's neck.

I also made my first "pills":
 These ginger balls are good for upset tummies and preventing motion sickness. Issa is anxious try them out on our next car trip. How can you go wrong with ginger, cinnamon, cocoa, and honey?

I made an herbal blend that stirs into milk to help us drift off to sleep, although no one has needed it yet, and I'm waiting for a few more herbs to arrive so I can make my first tinctures!

Right now, I'm mostly having fun reading, learning, and puttering with my herbs. They do seem to help, and I imagine it's worth a try!

Monday, January 7, 2019

A Walk in the Park

This weekend was absolutely beautiful! After all that snow in December, it was in the mid-sixties and sunny this weekend. It was just too pretty to stay inside, so Brad and I decided to head to Gold Park for a walk:

I always forget how pretty the walking trails are here, and it was lovely to just walk and chat. The best part: we stumbled upon a small herd:

 They were across the river from us, so they didn't seem to mind us one bit:
 The kids were too busy with their art and science kits to join us, but we came home to this:
Yes, that's an umbrella on the landing ledge. Apparently, the sun was glaring through the front window, and the devised that solution. I do love raising problem solvers.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Our Haven

Because December wasn't quite busy enough, Brad and I decided to undertake a major project: completely redoing our bedroom. Our bedroom has always been a bit cobbled together--hand me down furniture, utilitarian accessories, space for sleeping but not much else. We decided it was time for an upgrade!

First stop, IKEA:
 We are now in love with IKEA. So much so that we made a stop at one in Ohio to pick up a couple more pieces. We managed to find everything we needed there, and Brad couldn't believe how well everything assembled:
 I did all the painting. He did all the assembling. And the finished project makes us want to move it and never leave!

The one wall holds my apothecary (more on that in another post) and some of Brad's books and such:
 We finally have matching night stands (instead of mismatched end tables) and lamps:
 And we created this little seating area:
 And even managed to get the old prints from Grandma's basement on the walls:
It's a perfect haven, and we may never leave.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A Very Merry Christmas!

The kids are back in school today after what might have been the best Christmas break ever. It will take a series of posts,  but it seems appropriate to start with the official Christmas recap.

As is our style, we had a series of many Christmases over many days. We started right here in NC with Aunt Shannon and Nana, and of course every picture I have is thanks to my wonderful sister:
 Evan was just a little excited to open the first gifts of the season:
 We blinked and had a teenage fashionista this year:
 But even Evan was willing to do a show with shirts as cool as this one:
 And Daddy was a little too excited to try on his ninja sweatshirt:
 There was much laughter:
 And it was a great way to kick-off Christmas week!
 Bright and early the next morning, we hopped in the van and headed North. We had to make a slight detour to IKEA in Ohio (more on that later), and the kids invested some Christmas money in some new friends:
 Our next stop was Upper to see Papa Don and Grandma Nancy, where of course I took no pictures. We did have a lovely visit, though, and he made the kids the coolest treasure boxes, complete with locks and a set of state quarters he has been collecting for them for years. The kids could hardly wait to get home and fill them with their most important things.

From there, we headed further North to Napoleon where we spent a quiet Christmas Eve at Tyler's. The theme this year was the Grinch, and Aunt Shannon found us all the perfect pajamas to celebrate:
 Please ignore my blinky-ness:
 We ordered hibachi and spent the evening snuggled in watching White Christmas:
 The kids left the most hysterical note for Santa, and we all snuggled in so he could visit:
 And he did! Evan is quite convinced he heard reindeer hooves on the roof:
 Santa filled our stockings, and Evan is still puzzled by Dos instead of Uno:
 And Issa looked even more the teenager:
 Santa brought Evan two more ships to go with the Starlink game he brought earlier:
 He also brought Issa some new pillows for her cozy corner in her room:
 This year, our extended Napoleon family decided to do a Christmas movie themed Christmas, and our crew chose to do the Grinch:
 Becca even joined us as Max:
 Katie's crew did A Christmas Story:
 And Molly's crew did Charlie Brown:
 It was so fun...and so hot...and we will probably never do it again. We have already decided next year will be the Polar Express: everyone wear your jammies and we will set up a hot cocoa bar!

On the 26th, we headed to Tiffin to see Grandma Pat and Grandpa Kevin, where the highlight was definitely the new puppy, Ginger:
 She's a seven week old Rottweiler, and I'm shocked the kids didn't try to sneak her in their bags:
 We headed home on the 27th, and this about sums it up:

It was a fabulous Christmas in Ohio, but we were exhausted. It was lovely to come home with a couple of days to unpack, settle back in, and rest.