Monday, October 31, 2016

Wknd pics

Mama, I want to take this stick home. No, it won't fit in the car. That's ok we can just walk home.
Safari mama, baby lion and Raysch el Gould????
Parade walking
Pumpkin carving

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Some goals

You know, I used to set goals and try to meet them? I used to be pretty good at it. I fell out of practice when I had D, since most of my time is spent caring for him. Now that he's getting older, I think it's time to set some more goals. Want to know what I am thinking about?

1) Paying off my Student Loans: I am still paying off student loans, if you can believe it. I have about $22,000 in loans myself and Alex has some too, for a total of around $40,000. Ridiculous, right? Especially when we should be saving up for college for our kid. One of my goals is to pay off half of my balance, or $11,555.62 in the next year. I have already put about $5,546.00 toward this, so I have another $6000 to go. I am hoping to have half of my loans paid off by this time next year. At that point, I will start accruing more interest and my loans won't be in deferment anymore (they are deferred while I am a postdoc), but I will just have $11,000 to pay off - no sweat, right?

2) Establish a Morning Routine: I am trying to start a morning routine that I stick to no matter what day of the week it is. Here are some things I would like to do in the morning:

drink a glass of water when I wake up
meditate, reflect, keep a gratitude journal, or some sort of self reflection
take care of the Moo (the cat)

here are some things we HAVE to do in the morning:
feed and dress D
make lunches
make breakfast, coffee
shower and dress

If I get up around 5 or 5:30, I think I can accomplish all of these things. I'm a morning person, so it shouldn't be too bad. I will let you know how that goes!

3) Save Money by budgeting and Meal Planning: Along the same lines as trying to pay off my student loans, I would really like to start making better financial decisions. This includes getting rid of some of our stuff (we have too much, like most people), following a budget, and planning meals so we are never hitting the grocery store hungry (if this happens, we end up spending $100 for junk food - bad idea!). I've been keeping track of our budget, but I haven't been sharing it with Alex, so that will have to change. And meal planning is such a pain, but it has to be done. I am hoping if I do it for a couple months, I will just have some go-to meals to pull from.

Right now, I am working on how to keep track of these goals - some are obvious - make a loan payment each month, but others are more amorphous. Make sure I get up and do my morning routine 80% of the time? Keep track of how well we budget? Sell X number of things every month? I will have to think about these things. But for are some goals!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Party pics

Pin the tail on the donkey
Decorating fun things
Hanging out with friends
Wiped out
Walking in the rain with a new umbrella
Loving on Valentine 

The 3rd birthday party

Saturday was D's third birthday. We had a party at our house with about 20 people. Grandma and Grandpa came up for the weekend and we had a great time. Want to know what I did? Here's the lineup:

Rainy Day 3-year-old Birthday party:

Minestrone Soup
Macaroni and Cheese
Fruit Salad
Chips and Onion Dip
Fruit Snacks
Apples and clementines
Pink and yellow cupcakes with little toothpick "D" or "3" on them

crepe paper across the ceiling to make it look like a circus
balloons everywhere
a lion and an elephant painted by one of D's teachers
red and yellow tablecloth

Pin the tail on the donkey
Decorate your own party hat
make some bracelets with foam beads and pipe cleaners
"fishing" for toys in a huge styrofoam box filled with newspaper
when fishing breaks down, using toy saws to saw apart huge styrofoam box
when sawing gets boring, get in box
when rain finally lets up, wipe down baby slide and let kids play on that
when kids get really, really bored, walk them to the park

All in all, it was a good party. D took off with one of his friends down the driveway and gave another mom a heart attack but that seems to be the worst that happened. The kids seemed to have fun, and the adults seemed to have a good time too. The weather could have been better, and it would have been nice to get the kids outside more, but we all survived. Sunday was spent putting toys together and hanging out in PJs because it rained all day. Honestly, I feel pretty good today - rested and like I actually had a relaxing weekend. It's nice when you don't have to go anywhere.
Pics to follow!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Book Review: Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher

Naturally, I have a lot of things to catch up on. Forthwith, my review of this very gentle novel:

I reviewed another Rosamunde Pilcher book a few weeks ago. I'm still emotionally recovering from a lot of stuff that has happened this year, so I've been drawn to "gentle" novels. I really, really love Pilcher's books. This one was not a disappointment. The story begins with Elfrida Phipps, an older woman, single, and her dog. We follow her for a bit and get to know her quirky neighbors, her odd family, and have some lovely time with her. She's a beautiful and amazing character. Then the book begins to introduce us to some other characters. Oscar, the neighbor; Carrie, the niece; Lucy, the forgotten and neglected grand-niece, and Sam, the handsome stranger. Soon, Oscar is upset by tragedy, and Elfrida and Oscar set off to northern Scotland, where they settle into an old, rundown Victorian mansion to escape the holidays. All characters soon converge at the mansion, and have wonderful interactions, interesting conversations, revealing interactions with rich descriptions of the area. I loved this book so much. It's a book to cozy up by a fire, with a cup of tea and some cookies. It's a book to savor, take your time. The characters don't leave you, they enrich you. I am so glad I stole these books from my mom! You should read them too!